Even before summer has finished, people are really scared of what the energy price hikes will mean for them and their families. This is for good reason, because if things continue as predicted people on average incomes would be paying two months salary on their energy bills which would be crippling for so many people.
We in Labour have been working flat-out for months to truly understand the forces driving this problem, the way it impacts people in different situations, and how best to make an intervention that matches the scale of the problem.
Today, ahead of the Ofgen price cap announcement, Keir Starmer has outlined our proposals. In short, our plan would mean you wouldn’t pay a penny more in your energy bills this winter.
The Tory plan means you pay the extra and they get a small amount of it reimbursed. It’s complex, administratively chaotic and it simply doesn’t reassure people.
Our plan is bold and fair. It not only solves the problem most people face but it crucially gives them the reassurance they need at such a potentially terrifying time.
Our plan is fully costed, has at its centre a windfall tax on energy producers that’s backdated to what Labour first proposed it, and the re-purposing of existing government support into one straightforward intervention.
Listening to Paul Johnson from the IFS on the radio this morning, I was really pleased when he said we’ve given more detail on funding that we’d needed to. That’s what you get with Labour now, bold but credible policies that are deliverable and will make a difference.
It’s a stark difference to the current shambles of a Tory party. Over the weekend, a minister described this Government as a ghost ship, whilst neither candidate to replace Boris Johnson have a plan of their own. Liz Truss thinks a tax cut will do the job – it won’t. Rishi Sunak is boasting about taking money from deprived communities and handing it to affluent ones.
It’s why I believe in the bottom of my heart that it’s not a change of Tory we need – it’s a change of government. I can promise you that Keir, myself and the whole Labour team are putting in the hard work to make that happen and you’ll see many more bold, credible policies that tackle problems and create opportunities as we move towards the much needed general election.