The Tory reaction to Labour’s proposed freeze on energy prices has been remarkably hostile. Bills are rising, cases of hypothermia are growing and preventable deaths are increasing. If the debate starts here, the price freeze looks entirely reasonable.
It looks like energy prices is reaching critical mass as a political issue; the big six appeared in parliament this week, prices have dominated the agenda since the Labour party conference and there seems to be no end to the coverage it is getting. It’s an impressive political feat by Ed Miliband.
Today, the Children’s Society released an urgent but depressing survey into the state of child poverty. If there needed to be any more reminders of the human cost and moral pressures of the standard of living crisis, this would be it.
Ed Miliband has further emboldened his political astuteness over the past few weeks, with energy prices dominating the agenda in a big way. Despite us now being over a month away from the Labour party conference, his calculated (and ideologically sound) move to freeze energy prices has proved a winner.
Ed Miliband’s announcement at Labour Party Conference that the next Labour government will freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 has surprised and divided opinion across politics. It consciously breaks with the free market orthodoxy of the last thirty years, but also supplies a concrete policy to Labour’s living standards agenda.
On Monday Ed Miliband set out that, if Labour were in power, their Queen’s Speech would include a Consumer Bill to tackle rip off energy bills.
High and increasing energy bills are driving inflation and squeezing living standards.
Tuesday saw the energy secretary Ed Davey approve plans for the French energy giant EDF to build a nuclear power plant, the first in what is hoped to be a new generation of power plants. The plant is to be built in Somerset; Hinkley Point C.
This week, Ed Miliband did what the government should have done, and committed to a 2030 carbon target. To be meaningful, the Committee on Climate Change recommends that this should be a 60 percent reduction on 1990 levels.
Regardless of whether or not Ken manages to turn the tide of Boris’s intimidating poll lead on May 3rd, one of the ideas in his manifesto is such a gem that it simply mustn’t gather dust on the Labour party’s policy shelves if he’s defeated.