Labour leader Ed Miliband will today promise to force the House of Commons to vote on an energy price freeze in another sign energy bills are at the heart of his election campaign.
He is also set to lump Prime Minister David Cameron in with the country’s largest energy companies, derisively calling them the “Big Seven”.
In a speech at Battersea Power Station, Mr Miliband will say: “Tomorrow, we will vote on the price freeze. It is workable, it will happen if Labour wins the next election. And tomorrow Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs could vote for it. If they line up against it, the British people will know the truth: this government is on the side of the big energy companies not hard-pressed families.”
It seems to be part of Labour’s strategy to keep the idea of ‘cost of living’ firmly on the political agenda.
Contrary to claims energy bills are rising because of wholesale prices, the MP will point to statistics showing this isn’t the case.
He will say: “Today, I am publishing new figures confirmed by the House of Commons library showing that of the average increase in the price for electricity and gas since 2011 over half went straight into the profits and costs of the Big Six. This shows why we need a price freeze now.”
The Labour leader will suggest freezing tariffs could “fix” the “broken” energy market: “A price freeze until 2017 will pave the way for us to radically improve the energy market for the long term so we will change the way the energy market works in a way that will provide long-term confidence for investors and a better deal for consumers.”
He will also raise the idea of introducing a duty on water companies to have social tariffs “to help the poorest families”.