Labour would give Ofgem the legal power to enforce price cuts
It’s one of the hotly debated issues in the run-up to the general election. Should a government intervene to keep energy prices affordable for households?
Of course, we all know who sits on which side of the fence.
And today, Ed Miliband has planted his flag firmly over on Labour’s side by promising to reduce energy prices by up to 10% this year if he comes to power.
He’s pledged to give Ofgem the legal power to enforce cuts in energy prices and will also ask the regulator to review prices later this year.
He’d bring in the changes “within months” if Labour come to power.
The Labour leader said today: “We will pass a law to ensure falling costs are passed on to the consumer this winter.
“A law giving the regulator a legal duty to ensure fair prices this winter. A law giving the regulator the power to cut prices and keep homes warmer this winter.”
He said: “The sky-high prices that families pay have only fallen by a fraction of that. Gas bills have declined by between 1% and 5%. Electricity bills haven’t fallen at all.”
Osborne said the policy “doesn’t add up”.
Labour had already pledged to bring in a cap on energy prices.
The “Big Six” energy firms have all reduced their prices since the start of the year, by up to 5%.
Some commentators believe that prices would have been cut further, except they are concerned they might have to make enforced cuts if Labour come to power.
Others believe that the price reductions so far are a result of Labour taking a firm stance against energy firms, which has driven consumer and political pressure on the companies to reduce their prices.