Karl McCartney, Member of Parliament for the City of Lincoln has welcomed Government plans to lower energy bills for hardworking people across Lincoln.
Following the Prime Minister’s promise to take action to ensure people go on the lowest tariffs for their energy bills, this week the Government announced plans to force energy suppliers to offer their customers the best deals available.
Under these proposals:
· Households will no longer face hundreds of tariffs, with energy companies limited to four tariffs per fuel
· Energy companies will have to make bills simpler for customers to understand, and outline personalised information on the cheapest tariff that they can offer
· Households will be moved onto the cheapest tariff under their supplier, that suits them.
With over £300 difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tariffs on the market, the Prime Minister’s action is likely to make a significant difference to local people here in Lincoln worried about their energy bills.
Commenting Karl McCartney, said, “The Prime Minister promised to take action to ensure people can access the lowest tariffs and he has delivered. Households across our City will welcome this move to bring their energy bills down. This action shows that the Government is serious about helping people with the cost of living. Along with tax cuts, council tax freezes and all time low interest rates protecting mortgage payment, this action on energy prices will really help with family budgets.”
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· In the current market there are over 410 energy tariffs for customers to choose from – with a £300 difference between the cheapest and most expensive (DECC Press Release, 20 November 2012, link; USwitch news article, 10 October 2012, link).
· Gas bills more than doubled under Labour. Between 1997 and 2010, the average domestic gas bill (standard credit) went up by 108 per cent, from £328 to £681 (DECC, Quarterly energy prices table 2.3.1: Average annual domestic gas bills by home and non-home supplier, 29 March 2012, link).
· Electricity bills went up by more than 50 per cent under Labour. Between 1997 and 2010, the average domestic electricity bill (standard credit) went up by 53 per cent, from £285 to £435 (DECC, Quarterly energy prices table 2.2.1: Average annual domestic electricity bills by home and non-home supplier, 29 March 2012, link).
The Prime Minister’s promise:
· On 17 October 2012 the Prime Minister promised that ‘we will be legislating so that energy companies have to give the lowest tariff to their customers—something that Labour did not do in 13 years, even though the Leader of the Labour party could have done it because he had the job’ (Hansard, 17 October 2012, Col. 316, link).
Today that promise is being delivered:
· Limit suppliers to four ‘core tariffs’. We will limit energy companies to providing four core tariffs per fuel to end the proliferation of tariffs that has taken place over the last few years. We will require suppliers to have one standard variable rate tariff, and one fixed term fixed price tariff. This will ensure that these two tariff types, which account for 85 per cent of all customers, are clear, simple and easy to compare across suppliers.
· Requiring suppliers to switch customers to the cheaper tariffs. We will require energy suppliers to switch their customers who are on expensive “dead” tariffs (old tariffs that are more expensive than current deals) to the supplier’s cheapest tariff which suits them.
· Providing for simpler bills. We will require suppliers to provide estimates of savings that could be made by moving to the cheapest tariff on customer’s bills. This will include the cheapest tariff for the customer’s current payment method, and the cheapest tariff provided by the supplier overall.
More details on the Government’s plans are available on the DECC webpage (DECC Press Release, 20 November 2012, link).
Helping with the cost of living:
· We are helping councils fund a council tax freeze for a third consecutive year. For the past two years we have provided central Government funding for local authorities in England to freeze council tax. Now we will provide additional funding through a grant, equivalent to a 1 per cent increase in council tax, for those local authorities that freeze their council tax next year. Local authorities that increase council tax will not be eligible.
· Capping rail fares at RPI+1 per cent again next year and in 2014. The Prime Minister has announced that the increase in the average regulated rail fares will be capped at RPI + 1 per cent for 2013 and 2014.
· Our record low interest rates are keeping mortgage bills low for households up and down the country. If our interest rates rose by even 1 per cent, mortgage bills would increase by £1,000 a year. We have a credible plan for deficit reduction which is keeping interest rates at record lows.
· Cutting income tax for 25 million people. We are increasing the personal allowance again by £1,100 to £9,205 in April 2013. This is the largest increase in the personal allowance for thirty years and the largest real personal tax cut for the median earner in over a decade. Together with previous increases, this brings the total cash gain for basic rate taxpayers to £546. Altogether the Government will have taken 2 million people on the lowest incomes out of tax altogether, and will have delivered a tax cut of 25 million.
· Delivering the biggest ever cash increase to the basic state pension. This year, we increased the basic state pension by a record amount, £5.30 per week, thanks to the triple lock.