Alex Cunningham, the Member of Parliament for Stockton North, today challenged the Government’s new Energy Minister John Hayes to stop predatory energy companies overcharging thousands of households.
Alex asked the Minister whether he would put a stop to ‘the practice of energy companies offering predatory deals to just some customers at the expense of the majority of others who do not switch as often’, with the Minister agreeing that energy companies should offer greater ‘clarity and explicability very much in the terms he describes’.
Alex MP said:
‘Every year, the majority of energy customers are undercut by their own providers, who offer cheaper tariffs to new customers while charging their existing ones more. I am pleased that the Minister agreed with my point, but it remains to be seen whether this Tory-led Government will break the habit of a lifetime and put the interests of ordinary people ahead of those of big business’.
Alex was in the House of Commons for the Government’s response to an urgent Parliamentary question that had been tabled by Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change team after the Prime Minister claimed that the Government would create a new law to ensure that energy companies put customers on the lowest available tariff. But today, the Energy Minister only went as far as saying that the Government would ‘help’ customers get the best deal.
This led to Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Caroline Flint, saying; ‘We all mis-speak from time to time and the Prime Minister was under a lot of pressure yesterday but for the Government to spend a day pretending to have a policy they have no intention of implementing is no way to run the country.’
Alex MP said:
The Government have made a real hash of this. It appears that the Prime Minister announced a big new policy yesterday without consulting his own MPs, the Energy Minister or even the Secretary of State. Now the Government are rowing back, having cynically raised the hopes of millions of squeezed and overcharged energy customers.”