David Cameron: has he gone back on his pledge?

Plans to simplify tariffs are nothing new, so why is the PM accused of backtracking?

DECC has announced a series of new clauses to add to the Energy Bill to reduce the complexity of the energy market.

The move has introduced long-standing plans to reduce the number of energy tariffs available and simplify bills. It reflects Ofgem’s findings that the energy market was too difficult to compare prices.

Clauses were also proposed to allow the government to set a 2030 decarbonisation targets in 2016 following advice from the Committee on Climate Change.

However, Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said that David Cameron had broken his pledge to force suppliers to put customers on the cheapest deal:

“David Cameron has broken his promise to force the energy companies to put everyone on the cheapest tariff. Now he is trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. All the Government is really doing is reducing the number of tariffs on offer.

Fewer tariffs, better deal?

The government is sticking by its proposals, with Secretary of State Edward Davey saying: “I am determined to ensure that consumers get the cheapest tariff they can. So, we will amend the Energy Bill to reduce the bamboozling array of tariffs available on the market and to simplify bills, whilst continuing to work with Ofgem to deliver a simpler, more competitive market.

However, Ms Flint disagreed: “Even the cheapest energy deal in an uncompetitive market will still not be a good deal,” she said.

“Unless the Government really reforms the energy market there’s nothing to stop the energy companies just putting up the prices of all their tariffs. The time has come for a complete overhaul of our energy market.

“We need a One Nation Labour government to break the dominance of the energy giants, open up the energy market and create a tough new energy regulator with the power to force energy companies to pass on savings to consumers.”

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