SHADOW chancellor Ed Balls praised the work of Halton Credit Union when he visited Runcorn Shopping Centre on Thursday.

He commended the charity for helping families to save and borrow money as they struggle to make ends meet.

Mr Balls said: “It was great to visit Halton Credit Union and hear first hand how hard the last five years of a Tory led government have hit families and pensioners in Runcorn.”

He commended Weaver Vale’s Labour candidate, Julia Tickridge.

He added: “Julia’s a tough campaigner who will stand up for families in Runcorn.

“It’s clear that people here can’t afford five more years of bills rising faster than wages.

“And the NHS can’t afford five more years of the Tories’ extreme spending cuts.”

Julia Tickridge said: “The credit union is helping people to manage their finances, particularly getting loans at affordable prices.

“It is responsible lending and steers people away from loan sharks and other lenders on the high street who charge higher interest rates.

“They provide opportunities for people to save as well as borrow.

“People in Runcorn have been hard hit by the cost of living crisis and job losses.”

Mr Balls met Labour’s campaign staff and congratulated the team for achieving 14,685 doorstep conversations with voters.

Julia added: “He really engaged with the campaign team and rallied our troops.

“It was a whistlestop tour because he had to get back for his son’s school play. There’s a lovely human side to his nature.”