Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Green Levies On Energy Bills

Levies invest in British technology and clean energy, create jobs and support thousands of people unable to afford to heat their home. Scrapping levies leads to less investment, fewer jobs, higher bills for everyone in the long-run and an increase in the number of people in fuel poverty. That cannot be the right answer.

We do not want to see a penny more going on bills than is strictly justified.

People’s bills go down over time by making sure their homes are more properly insulated and that fuel poverty is properly tackled, and that Britain starts to reduce its reliance on foreign fossil fuels.

What are we doing now?

Two million households will get as much as £135 off their bills under the Warm Home Discount. 230,000 homes will be warmer this year by getting energy efficiency measures installed.

We’re also changing energy bills by cutting the number of tariffs, making bills simpler and clearer, and getting people off poor-value tariffs and on to the best deal for them.

Labour’s energy price freeze

Labour’s plan is a promise that won’t work. Fixing prices in this increases the likelihood of a massive spike in prices immediately before or immediately after the freeze, it risks blackouts, jeopardises jobs and puts investment in clean, green technology in doubt.

When they tried to fix prices in California it resulted in an electricity crisis and widespread blackouts. We can’t risk the lights going out here too.

Ed Miliband has already been forced to admit that there are flaws in his policy. He has admitted energy companies could appeal to the Government to overturn the freeze. And he had no answer to the question of what would happen if prices were put up by the energy companies before a freeze. Even senior Labour figures think it is unworkable and would cost jobs.

Labour and the cost of living

The reason the cost of living is high is because Labour crashed the economy. For them to criticise the Coalition for cleaning up their mess is utterly hypocritical.

In Government, Labour:
  • Crashed the economy, which is why the cost of living is high now
  • Scrapped the 10p tax, leaving half a million of the lowest paid worse off
  • Increased the state pension by an insulting 75p
Liberal Democrats have done everything we can to help people with the cost of living while cleaning up Labour’s mess. We have:
  • Stabilised the economy, keeping interest rates and mortgage payments low
  • Given 24m ordinary workers a £700 tax cut
  • Increased the state pension by £650 thanks to our ‘Triple lock’ (where pensions must rise with the highest of earnings, inflation or 2.5%)
  • Frozen Council Tax, saving the average household £600 since 2010
  • Frozen fuel duty, saving motorists £170 per year compared to what they would have paid under Labour
  • Announced free school meals for all infants from next year
  • Expanded free childcare and, from 2015, giving £1,200 a year towards the cost of childcare for every child under 12
  • From 2016 introducing a cap on social care costs, after years of Labour failures to reform the system