Miliband’s laborious ‘energy switch’

Ed-Miliband-2301049Ed Miliband s’était engagé à geler les prix de l’énergie s’il gagnait les élections de 2015. Pourtant, récemment, le parti travailliste s’est montré en faveur d’une réforme de la politique énergétique qui inclut une augmentation de la taxe carbone, ce qui aurait pour conséquence l’augmentation de la facture énergétique des Britanniques. L’orientation politique du parti travailliste en matière d’énergie est donc loin d’être très claire… 


On October 31st, Labour’s energy spokeswoman said that green taxes would “only” add  £113 pounds to people’s bills. This declaration was very much criticized by the Telegraph that pointed out that this may not be much for the spokeswoman but it was a lot for most British citizens. Therefore it seemed that Labour was more concerned about saving the planet than offering affordable energy prices to British people and keeping them warm. This event added to the recent vote in the House of Lords, during which the Party was in favour of a new carbon tax, clearly shows that Labour wants Great Britain to go green whatever the cost for British citizens. Fortunately Labour was defeated and the rise of £125 a year on the energy bill they demanded didn’t happen. Studies show that if it had passed then the poorest Britons would have been hit the hardest. Labour doesn’t seem to think that green has to be ethical too. This “green policy” followed by Labour isn’t new and started when Ed Miliband was running the Department for Energy and Climate Change, he even said that he was willing to sacrifice “six months” of economic growth in order to fulfil his environment-friendly goals.

But, not long ago Ed Miliband promised an energy price freeze if he won the 2015 elections. When he declared this, he presented himself as the defender of ordinary working families and small entrepreneurs against big supply companies. Ed Miliband’s position on the subject seems to be unclear. Maybe the declaration was just made to draw in voters because four in five voters back his pledge to freeze energy bills, but half the voters doubt Labour would be able to deliver it.

The goal of the price freeze declaration was to put Cameron’s Party in a difficult position. It seems that their strategy failed because the Tories responded by promising a cut on green levies and there are more people backing this measure than people backing Miliband’s. There are a two reasons for this. First, those green levies were implemented by Miliband when he was energy secretary so it is a direct attack from the Tories against Labour. And second it seems that the energy price freeze would be inefficient because a majority of Britons think that the energy companies would hike their price before or after the freeze. Moreover, it would have a negative effect on investments.

In fact both Parties are in fact tackling the wrong causes behind rising bills. The main cause is that the UK is importing 50% of its gas and those gas prices have recently risen.

Axel BARICHE & Olivia LI


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