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GMB Responds To Theresa May's renewed pledge for Energy Price Cap at Tory Conference

Thursday, October 5, 2017

 

Ofgem should be abolished and all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself, making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary part of the forthcoming legislation says GMB.

GMB, the union for energy and gas workers, has responded to the Prime Minister's renewed commitment to introduce a cap for customers on the standard variable tariffs by calling for Ofgem to be abolished and its regulatory functions taken over by Government itself.

The Tory Party manifesto before the general election pledged to introduce a “safeguard tariff” to cap consumers’ bills, however in July former energy regulator Stephen Littlechild said that Ofgem can propose a tariff but energy suppliers do not have to accept it.

During her eventful speech to the Tory Party Conference, Theresa May once again pledged to limit the amount people pay for their energy through legislation although details on how this would be done have not yet been provided. [1]

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Ofgem has been a toothless wonder that passed its use by date years ago, it is not fit for purpose and now is the time for it to be replaced.

"GMB has always ridiculed the very idea of a competitive market in a natural monopoly because it is a contradiction in terms that we all pay for through our energy bills.

“Ofgem should be abolished and all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself, making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary part of the forthcoming legislation.

"This would form the basis of an energy policy that took the real decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector, whilst guaranteeing the resources needed to generate jobs and to pay for the vital infrastructure needed to maintain our power networks.

"Any cap must differentiate between profiteering and these fundamental necessities so government should also have powers to limit profits and, where necessary, to finance and run power stations.”

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351, Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors:

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41499483

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