Energy price rises: someone tell us the truth

Someone tell us the truth about energy prices

Someone tell us the truth about energy prices

Things are hotting up in parliament!  If this week’s Commons question session is anything to go by, there’ll be no extra jumpers required to keep warm at Westminster this winter, as tempers flare and disputes rage.  Are the wheels finally coming off the coalition love truck?  Isn’t it worrying when John Major seems to be talking sense?  More importantly, who is going to save us all from the energy price rises and the big freeze?

David Cameron’s con man reference, which was deemed ‘below the level’ (how low is that exactly?), suggested some frustration on his part.  Perhaps he had just tried deciphering the kilowatt usage on his dual fuel bill in preparation for switching suppliers, or perhaps he had just realised the Conservative policy on free schools is, well, pants, but he did appear to be losing his cool.

There is no doubt that the debate over the hike in energy prices is going to continue.  The energy companies are playing a blinder in deferring responsibility to the government; the Lib Dems are busy accusing the prime minister of a ‘panicky U-turn’ in looking to roll back some of the green regulations and charges that are putting up bills, while Ed Miliband is accusing Cameron of ‘changing his policy every day of the week’ and losing control of his government.

Whilst it is entertaining to watch politicians squirm, especially those with Etonian privileges, we shouldn’t let this circus distract us from what we need to be doing – demanding an energy policy that ensures a fair deal for consumers as well as the environment.

We need someone to be honest about the pricing and not try to confuse us with calculations (green levies multiplied by infrastructure investment minus company profits plus your mortgage equals, big problem) or entice us with unachievable price freezes.

Switching may be easy for the internet savvy nuclear physicist who can understand the British Gas price plan for Economy 7, but if my elderly parents are any gauge, there is real fear out there about this winter’s fuel bills.  This isn’t something that people who have worked hard and saved all their lives should be worried about.

Let the debate rage, by all means, but make it a clear and honest one from which those who are in real need can benefit and the rest of us can get a fair deal.  There should never be a heat or eat dilemma in a civilised society.

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