Labour fury at fresh energy price hikes
Labour has torn into energy firms after British Gas announced bill hikes of almost £50 on average.
Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said companies had gone “way too far in ripping off their customers”.
Centrica, which owns British Gas, said prices would rise by 3.8% for some 3.5 million customers from October - taking the average bill up £44 to £1,205 a year.
The hike in the so-called standard variable tariff is the second this year - but Centrica said the rises were down to price movements in the wholesale energy markets.
Government plans to impose an energy price cap are due to come into force by the coming winter - although it is unclear at what level the cap will be set.
Ms Long Bailey fumed: “The energy companies have gone way too far in ripping off their customers.
“If it wasn’t for the Government’s delay implementing their promised energy price cap, customers would have been protected from this rise.
“Now the cap will not be coming into force until later this year and energy companies are hiking their tariffs before it does.”
Other energy firms, including E.On, Npower, EDF and Scottish Power, have also put prices up - all blaming the cost of wholesale energy.
Yesterday Ofgem announced that its pre-payment meter cap - which usually protects vulnerable customers - would be lifted from October.
Ms Long Bailey added: “The next Labour government will tackle our broken energy market and bring parts of the energy system back into public ownership, so it works in the interests of the people and not rich shareholders.”