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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Has May fallen into the Miliband trap on energy prices?

The latest attempt by Theresa May to appeal to the 'just about managing' is an intriguing one if only because she has adopted a Labour policy championed by Ed Miliband that the Tories completely trashed at the time.

As the Independent reports, the latest wheeze to cap energy prices has all the drawbacks identified when the former Labour leader advocated it including the loophole that if international prices go up then the energy regulator could allow domestic fuel bills to follow.

But that is not all. As the paper says, this particular Conservative policy was rejected by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last summer. They warned it would backfire saying that a cap on standard variable bills carried “excessive risks of undermining the competitive process, likely resulting in worse outcomes for customers in the long run”.

The final word must go to  Doug Parr, the policy Director at Greenpeace UK. He said: “It has long been accepted that better energy efficiency is the cheapest way to cut bills, yet programmes to make homes warmer and healthier have fallen to their lowest levels in many years under Conservative Prime Ministers."
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