Chancellor George Osborne is “calling the shots” when it comes to energy policy.
That’s the view of former Energy Secretary Ed Davey who said they have had “quite a few standoffs” and a “big fight” over the Levy Control Framework (LCF), a tool used by government to support the control of costs to consumers arising from energy policies.
During a no-holds-barred conversation at the Energy Live 2015 conference last week, he said the Tories claiming the LCF is overspent is “one big lie to justify cuts to the industry”.
Mr Davey said: “They don’t have in their back pocket a new energy policy. They haven’t made all these changes in the last few months, getting rid of zero carbon arrangements and all the other stuff, 87% cuts in solar and support for FiTs. They haven’t done that because they know what they want to do – they’re now making it up as they go along. That is a height of irresponsibility.”
The former Liberal Democrat MP added the Chancellor is “all about becoming the next leader of the Tory party and everything is being sacrificed to that”.
He said: “He’s going to be the next leader of the party so to every other minister when he says ‘Jump’, they all say ‘How high?’ So that is the way the government is being run at the moment.”
When asked if there was a possibility for DECC to be merged with part of another government department, Mr Davey added: “I think in the short term it probably won’t as [David] Cameron must be embarrassed by the fact that from the early days of hugging a husky he’s had to sort of turn his back a little bit so maybe I think, politically, getting rid of DECC would put the nail in the coffin to any green wash that he can still pretend he’s got.
“So I don’t think he’ll go that far but if Osborne becomes next leader or next Prime Minister, I think his days are numbered.”
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom defended the green cuts, claiming it had to be done to reduce the impact for consumers.
You can watch the full interview with Ed Davey here.