Labour MP Bill Esterson says Tory-Lib Dem Government is failing

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Energy Bill gives no power to Parliament to break energy companies' stranglehold on the British consumer.

MPs discussed the introduction of the bill in Parliament.

But Bill Esterson said the Energy Bill failed to tackle the problem of soaring gas and electricity bills. 

Bill said: "At a time when families are facing record fuel bills and energy companies are enjoying huge profits, government needs to step in and support families. But there is nothing in the Energy Bill to make the energy market more competitive and transparent.

"This Tory-Lib Dem Government slashed the budget which helped fuel poor households with their bills and they axed the Warm Front scheme which directly aided families right here in Sefton Central.

"The Government has failed to ensure that the energy companies meet their obligations on energy efficiency.

"And the Tories and Lib Dems have failed to get a grip of, on the one hand the consumers' soaring fuel bills, while on the other the energy companies' rocketing profits.

"That's the priority I and the people in my constituency who are struggling to deal with household fuel bills day in, day out."

Bill said Labour was making plans to tackle the energy companies head on.

He said: "I've spoken to people in Sefton Central who are having to make the decision of whether to heat or eat. That's not how people should be living in 2012 and 2013. But that's a fact of life for far too many people.

"Labour is prepared to stand up to powerful vested interests in the energy industry. Our plans would provide real help now, as well as reform the way our energy market works for the long-term.

"We would force the energy companies to pool the power they generate and make it available to any retailer, in an attempt to open the market and put downward pressure on prices.

"We would abolish Ofgem and create a tough new energy watchdog with a statutory duty to monitor wholesale and retail energy prices, and with the power to force energy suppliers to pass on price cuts when the cost of wholesale energy falls.

"And we would require energy companies to put all over-75s on their cheapest tariff, which could save as many as four-million pensioners as much as £200 a year from their annual energy bills.

"We need decisive action taken now to tackle the very real problem of fuel poverty.

"Too many people are struggling to cope. Too many people are sitting in freezing cold homes because they are afraid to put the heating on.

"The Energy Bill fails to take the action that is required and the Tories and Lib Dems are letting down the hundreds of people right here in Sefton Central who are struggling to heat their homes."