Saturday, 30 November 2013

Fixing Britain's broken energy market

Ed Miliband and Caroline Flint have this week launched our Energy Green Paper that sets out the steps a One Nation Labour government will take to reset the market during the 20 month price freeze to ensure energy is affordable and available for the long term.

People in Haslingden and Hyndburn know times are tough. Prices are rising faster than wages and people are working harder, for longer, for less. That amounts to a cost of living crisis for people here and across the country.

As we head into winter people have been telling me they are worried about how cold it will get and the choices they will have to make to pay their energy bills. I don’t think that is right. People shouldn’t have to make the choice between putting food on the table and turning on the heating.

David Cameron says the economy is fixed - but since he has been in Downing Street prices have risen faster than wages in 40 out of 41 months and energy bills have gone up by almost £300. When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall.

The problem is David Cameron can’t deal with the cost of living crisis because he stands up for a privileged few, not for ordinary families and people working hard to make ends meet. David Cameron has cut tax for people on over £150,000 a year while raising it for everyone else. We can only tackle the cost of living crisis by building an economy that works for working people.

Ed Miliband announced in September that the next Labour Government will freeze energy prices until 2017 while we reform the energy market to deliver fairness in the long term. I’m delighted that this week he has set out the next steps a One Nation Labour government will take to ensure energy is affordable and availablefor the long term.

These next steps include plans to improve competition in the market, establish a new Energy Security Board to deliver the capacity we need and create a tough new regulator to prevent overcharging.