Ex-PM makes a case for “temporary renationalisation” of energy suppliers

Gordon Brown has called on the government to scrap the price cap amid energy crisis

Big Zero Report 2022

Energy companies unable to offer to their customers lower bills should be temporarily renationalised.

Writing for the Guardian, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the government needs to negotiate with energy suppliers over new lower prices and should cancel the energy price cap before Ofgem’s official announcement on 26th August.

Mr Brown who succeeded Tony Blair as Labour Party leader and in June 2007 became Prime Minister, added: “Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do crises.

“They don’t take holidays and don’t politely hang fire – certainly not to suit the convenience of a departing PM and the whims of two potential successors.”

In his article, Gordon Brown predicts that families are to suffer more than in 2008-09 and “only bold and decisive action starting this week will rescue people from hardship”.

Last week, when ELN asked BEIS to comment on the petition for nationalisation of energy companies that has already been signed by more than 100,000 people, a spokesperson responded: “Nationalisation would not solve the issue of high wholesale energy prices on the global market and is absolutely not on the agenda.

“Competition is the best driver of value and innovation in the energy market and over the years customers have benefitted from greater choice and standards of products and services.

“In addition, over 22 million households are currently protected by the price cap. If the cap was not in place, energy companies could charge consumers even higher prices, over and above the costs of purchasing wholesale gas and electricity.”

In response to Mr Brown’s views, a government spokesperson told ELN: “A nationalised energy company would still have to buy the same expensive gas on global markets, so prices won’t be lowered.

“It is absolutely not on the agenda. We know the pressures people are facing with rising costs, which is why we have continually taken action to help households by phasing in £37 billion worth of support throughout the year.

“In addition, over 22 million households are currently protected by the price cap. If the cap was not in place, energy companies could charge consumers even higher prices, over and above the costs of purchasing wholesale gas and electricity.”

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