Labor pledges to eliminate ‘excessive’ upfront energy meter costs as PM announces no new measures to reduce cost of living | Political news

Labor has announced it will stop the “excessive” premiums faced by energy prepaid meter customers.

The pledge is part of a package of measures to tackle the cost of living crisis that Sir Keir Starmer’s party is set to announce.

It comes as Boris Johnson doubles down on his insistence that his successor “make key financial decisions” after negotiations with energy bosses ended with no new measures to ease the cost of living crisis.

Mr Johnson said he would continue to urge the energy industry to ease the financial pressures on families struggling, but he repeated his stance that it was for his successor in Number 10. Liz Truss or Rishi Sunakto “make important financial decisions,” a Treasury spokesman said.

Energy analysts have predicted that typical energy bills could rise to around £3,500 by October and more than £4,200 in January.

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Mr Johnson’s successor will not be announced until September 5.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey called the lack of extra support offered to families and pensioners following a meeting with industry bosses “appalling”.

And Labor accused the government of “lack of action”.

“Families are worried about how they will pay their bills,” said Ed Miliband, secretary of state for climate change and net zero.

“The prime minister and prime minister have accepted AWOL, while the leadership candidates have no substantive ideas on how to help working people meet the challenges they face.”

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has now confirmed that part of this action will be to end the “unwarranted” cost of upfront energy meters.

In particular, the use of premiums could cause metered users to pay more for energy upfront than those who pay by direct debit.

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Crisis talking to the energy boss

The party says the measure is part of a broader cost of living package being developed by Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who, along with Mr Johnson, was criticized last week for going on holiday at a time of crisisand Mr Miliband ahead of the August price cap announcement from Ofgem.

Earlier on Sky News, shadow justice secretary Steve Reed denied that Gordon Brown was leading party policy in Sir Keir’s absence after Former Prime Minister called for energy companies to be temporarily nationalizedin his third major intervention this week.

Sir Keir will visit Edinburgh on Friday, where he is expected to talk about some elements of the party’s proposals to help those with rising energy bills, ahead of a full announcement next week. next.

Labor says the prepaid metering policy will help bring prepaid energy prices in line with energy prices for direct debit customers and estimates that it will provide relief to four million households.

“It’s infuriating that people who use prepaid meters have to pay more for their energy. Why should people with the least pay more to heat their homes and turn on the lights? This is unjustified and morally wrong,” Ms Reeves said.

“As energy prices go up, this unfair upfront premium must end. Labor will ensure that no one overpays for the same gas and electricity that everyone else gets, nor like taking broader action to help people manage their bills this winter.”

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How does UK support compare on energy bills?

It is thought Labor will close the gap between the two price caps and reimburse energy companies for the difference between October and March – at an estimated cost of £113m.

Labor says this will be paid for by increasing wind taxes on oil and gas companies.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Prepaid meters remain an effective way for people to pay for their energy use while managing costs and debt. , while the energy price cap protects four million prepaid meter customers from overcharging energy providers.

“We understand that global inflationary pressures are squeezing households’ finances. This is why we are offering a £37 billion support package to help households in these difficult times. during these difficult times, including a £400 discount on energy bills accessible to people using prepaid meters and £1,200 to around eight million low-income households.”

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Following a meeting with energy company bosses earlier on Thursday, the Finance Ministry said that Prime Minister Nadhim Zahawi and energy companies had agreed to “closely work together” in the coming weeks to ensure that The public, including vulnerable customers, is supported in the face of rising costs. .

In a tweet, Mr Johnson said he knew people were worried about “difficult winter ahead” but added that a support package was in place, including a £400 discount for all households.

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Meanwhile, former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn is among a group of MPs who say Parliament should be convened to discuss how to tackle the cost of living crisis.

Writing to Mr Johnson, Sir Keir and both House and House speakers, the MPs said recent assessments of rising energy costs were “naturally causing fear and awe for the many” and that Congress should be revoked “in the public interest”.

Other signatories include former shadow interior secretary Diane Abbott, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and former shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.

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