Starmer 'squandering' crisis as new energy plan ridiculed 'Won't survive the month'


The Labour leader has set out the party’s plan to stop energy bills rising over the winter paid for in part by an extension of the windfall levy on oil and gas companies’ profits. Sir Keir said the £29billion plan to address the “national emergency” would freeze the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 for six months from October, saving the average household £1,000.

David Jeffery, a lecturer in British politics at the University of Liverpool, said the long-awaited plan is unlikely to survive the month.

He explained while the calculations appear to add up, households using the most energy will be the biggest winners.

Mr Jeffery said: “These tend to be richer households, with larger homes to heat.”

The academic, in an Unherd op-ed, continued: “The proposal, then, is classic Starmer: another sweeping gesture in a policy area that should be Labour’s for the taking.

“I listened to what Keir Starmer had to say yesterday, I don’t think his numbers added up at all.”

At a Conservative Party leadership hustings in Perth yesterday (August 16), Rishi Sunak ruled out adopting Labour’s plan, saying: “I don’t think that is the right approach.”

Asked what he would do to help businesses with energy costs, he added that things he had done as chancellor, including a business rate cut, were already making a difference.

The former Chancellor also highlighted the importance of prioritising rising energy costs over other political issues when asked whether he would allow a second Scottish independence referendum.

His leadership rival, Liz Truss, said her priority remains cutting taxes.

The frontrunner, speaking in Scotland, said: “We’re still in the leadership contest at the moment. Now, my priority is reducing taxes so people can keep more of their own money at the same time as making sure we boost energy supply.

“It is wrong to just keep sticking plasters on this problem. What we actually need to do is make sure we are unleashing more energy, for example, from the North Sea.

“We’re investing in technologies like nuclear, and we’re finding more renewable energy as well.”

Meanwhile, experts have said the price cap on energy bills might rise even further than previously expected.

Gas prices spiked on Monday and unless they drop in the coming months, average households could face an annual energy bill of £4,650 from January and £5,456 from April.

It is the worst warning yet from energy consultancy Auxilione, adding almost £200 to its previous forecast for April.



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