53 Tory MPs, including 20 former ministers, are demanding that Theresa May honours her pledge to cap energy bills for 17 million people.
May is facing a major backlash for the decision to drop the promise made during the election campaign. Joining forces with 38 Labour and SNP MPs, the rebel Tory backbenchers have signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking her protect consumers against “abusive price increases”.
“Betrayal of millions of households”
Originally, the Tories made the promise to introduce a cap during their general election campaign. However, in what Labour called a “betrayal of millions of households”, Theresa May neglected to mention the policy in the Queen’s Speech.
Rather than honouring the promise, Business Secretary Greg Clark instead wrote to energy regulator Ofgem asking it to safeguard “customers on the poorest value tariffs”.
Ofgem had already limited the cost of gas and electricity for those on pre-payment meters, and then revealed in July that they were ‘considering’ plans to extend the limit to about two million others on certain benefits.
However, this was a far cry short of the 17 million people that the Tories originally pledged to protect. Conservative MP John Penrose, the former minister responsible for organising the current protest, said of the July proposals:
“Ofgem’s proposals will not end the energy rip-off for 17 million families, as we promised in our manifesto. Under this plan, fewer than 3 million customers will be helped and the remaining 14 million will see their energy bills rise as energy companies recoup the cost of the cap by milking the rest of us,”
Following the Tory U-turn and Ofgem’s disappointing proposal, British Gas put their electricity prices up a massive 12.5%. This means that every one of the ‘big six’ (the UK’s largest energy suppliers) have now raised their prices this year.
Cross party MPs have refused to let this to go unchallenged. The protest, organised by Conservative John Penrose, has seen many Tory MPs lashing out at the PM for her decision to drop the general election pledge.
The MPs wrote:
“As you can see from our signatures below, the 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-6 stitch-up, and pledge to help the millions of households who Ofgem seem set to ignore.”
Theresa May’s dishonest and despicable U-Turn has affected millions of people, and it has allowed the big six to continue their dominating reign over smaller energy companies and their crippling attacks on the public.
It’s hard to understand why there isn’t a larger outcry over this turn of events. After all, Theresa May is directly responsible for them.
Even 53 Tory MPs can admit that this U-turn is unacceptable, so surely loyal Tory followers can, too?
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