08/05/2017 22:42 BST

Conservative Party Promises Energy Price Cap On Default Tariffs

Labour says 're-announcement' means bills could still go up.

PA Wire/PA Images
Prime Minister Theresa May at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre in Harrow, north west London.

The Conservative Party has confirmed it will deliver an energy price cap to tackle spiralling household bills if it wins the election.

The proposed cap would apply to default tariffs – or so-called standard variable tariffs – which around 17 million households are on against prices rising by more than 150% over the last fifteen years.

The Tories said the cap will be set by energy regulator Ofgem, and follows the cap on prices for customers with pre-payment meters, which was introduced in April.

There were no details on how much the cap would save families, but a press release pointed to the difference between the best and the worst deals on the market being as much as £300.

But Labour hit back at the Conservatives for lifting a key policy in Labour’s 2015 general election manifesto, which had been dismissed by David Cameron as “Marxist”.

Tories signalled they would be adopting the policy last month. 

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“This is desperate stuff from the Tories, re-announcing something they tried to get a headline for just a fortnight ago. But just as when they announced it last time, there’s still no proper detail nor any real commitment to helping working people.

“When the Tories say they’ll ‘cap’ bills, the question they need to answer is whether they can guarantee bills won’t go up for people next year – that’s the real test. A cap suggests a maximum amount that can be charged, not a promise that bills won’t go up year on year.”

 Greg Clark, Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“Under Theresa May’s strong and stable leadership, we will act on our commitment to intervene when the energy market fails to treat people in a fair and reasonable manner.

“A recent investigation found that families are paying £1.4 billion more than they should in energy bills. And in the last few months, five of the largest energy suppliers have announced increases to their already poor value standard tariffs. This clearly isn’t fair and reasonable and we are going to put it right.

“This is the difference that strong leadership under Theresa May can make for ordinary working families. The alternative at this election is a weak and floundering Jeremy Corbyn propped up by other parties, risking our economy and less money in the pocket of families already struggling to pay their bills.”