With news that SSE will impose a pre-winter, inflation busting 8.2% rise in its energy prices across Britain, Taunton Deane Labour Party took the fight against ever increasing living costs to Taunton High Street on Saturday. They were joined by former Government Minister and the Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen, John Denham MP.
John Denham MP said:
‘The Lib Dems and Tories have taken people who voted for them for granted. In the South West people will face some of the biggest fuel price rises this winter, but Cameron and Clegg refuse the price freeze Labour has called for.
With the other energy companies expected to soon follow SSE’s lead in raising their prices the Labour party, if elected in 2015, is promising to act on behalf of hard pressed consumers and businesses in Somerset by freezing energy prices for 20 months up to 2017.”
Last year SSE made pre-tax profits of £1.4 billion and saw profits up 18.9% in their network business and 27.5% in their retail business, so energy companies blaming of regulation and increasing wholesale energy prices rings hollow. Instead of easing the cost of living burden for the public they have passed on these profits to senior management and shareholders, with their chief executive this year paid a basic salary of £755,000.
Ann Reeder, a Labour European Parliamentary Candidate for the South West region, said:
“It’s clear that where Ed Miliband stands up to the strong, the Tories just stand on the weak. Since David Cameron has been in Downing Street prices have risen faster than wages in 38 out of 39 months and energy bills have gone up by almost £300. When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on, but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall.
And it’s not only individual consumers – local businesses tell us that energy bills are the second largest cost that they face. Labour’s energy freeze policy will save the average business £1,800 a year, giving small businesses the support they need at a vital time for the Taunton economy”
In place of the inaction of the coalition government a Labour government would act decisively for consumers in the South West by not only freezing energy prices but by addressing the failed energy market. Labour would shut down the flawed regulator Ofgem and set up a new, tough regulator; work to end the vertical integration of the industry; and break up the Big Six energy companies.
Only Labour can create a new energy industry that delivers competition, fairness and value to customers.
For further information contact:
Neil Guild, Secretary to Taunton Deane Labour Party, on 07950700872