23,514 NORTH AYRSHIRE & ARRAN FAMILIES ARE OVERPAYING FOR ENERGY
AYRSHIRE MP LEADS CROSS PARTY INITIATIVE TO CHALLENGE ‘BIG SIX’ ENERGY PRICE STITCH-UP
In a cross-party letter to Prime Minister, Theresa May and Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Skills, Greg Clark MP, co-organised by Patricia Gibson MP, SNP Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, John Penrose MP (Conservative) and Caroline Flint MP (Labour), 193 MPs united to urge the UK Government to introduce an energy price cap to protect families from a £1,400 million a year rip-off.
At the election, Mrs May promised to protect 17 million families on standard variable tariffs with an energy price cap on household bills. Yet watered down proposals protect only two million.
Earlier this month, Mr Clark reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to the policy, saying that the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) already has legal powers to impose an energy cap and that 'the ball is in its court' not Parliament's. The 193 MPs called on the Prime Minister to force Ofgem into action.
Patricia Gibson MP said:
“In my own North Ayrshire & Arran constituency, it is a disgrace that 23,514 families are overpaying for energy by £5.5 million per year.
“17 million consumers - two thirds of all UK customers - have been ripped off by the ‘Big Six’ for decades. And Ofgem have chosen to stand idly by, leaving 15 million customers on standard variable tariffs.
"If Ofgem doesn't go into battle with the ‘Big Six’ energy companies on behalf of consumers, it must be replaced and the UK Government should implement the energy price cap instead.
"This was a manifesto pledge by all the major parties in June’s General Election and the breadth and depth of cross-party signatures on this letter shows huge support for the Government to get this through Parliament. It is time for the Government to act."
The full text of the letter, signed by 193 MPs to the Prime Minister and Mr Clark:
“We urge you to extend Ofgem’s proposals of 03 July 2017 by introducing an energy price cap that protects all of the 17 million families currently on expensive Standard Variable Tariff deals, not just the two million vulnerable ones. While these proposals are a step in the right direction it is clear we must do more to protect the further 15 million households who continue to be preyed on by the ‘Big Six’ energy firms.
"This idea has substantial cross-party support. It was promised in the three leading party manifestos and a temporary, relative price cap has support from most of the ‘challenger’ energy firms – the insurgents who are challenging the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ incumbents, and providing choice and stronger competition, which benefits consumers.
“We hope you will work with us and Ofgem to stop this ‘Big Six’ stitch-up, and pledge to help the millions of households who Ofgem seem set to ignore.”