Theresa May: Tories will cap 'unfair' energy bills to protect cash-strapped consumers
A Conservative government would cap "unfair" energy bill rises to stop consumers being ripped off, Theresa May has confirmed.
The flagship pledge will be in the Tory election manifesto due to be published next week.
It echoes Ed Miliband's promise to freeze energy bills before the 2015 general election - for which he was roundly criticised by the Conservatives.
The so-called Big Six energy firms have been repeatedly condemned for hiking their prices by more than 150% over the last fifteen years
Under the Tory plan, increases in poor value standard variable tariffs - which most households are on - would be capped at a level set by the energy regulator Ofgem.
Writing in The Sun, the Prime Minister said: "It is clear to me that the energy market is not working for ordinary working families. Too many people simply aren’t getting a fair deal.
“If I am re-elected on June 8, I will take action to end this injustice by introducing a cap on unfair energy price rises."
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "We will act on our commitment to intervene when the energy market fails to treat people in a fair and reasonable manner.
"A recent investigation found that families are paying £1.4 billion more than they should in energy bills. And in the last few months, five of the largest energy suppliers have announced increases to their already poor value standard tariffs. This clearly isn’t fair and reasonable and we are going to put it right."
But Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said voters would see through the move.
She said: "This is desperate stuff from the Tories, re-announcing something they tried to get a headline for just a fortnight ago. But just as when they announced it last time, there’s still no proper detail nor any real commitment to helping working people.
"When the Tories say they’ll ‘cap’ bills, the question they need to answer is whether they can guarantee bills won’t go up for people next year – that’s the real test. A cap suggests a maximum amount that can be charged, not a promise that bills won’t go up year on year. The reality is that the Tories aren’t offering anything for working people."