The core around which the Labour party would rally and win the coming election, has been pulled out from under them.
Ed Miliband had announced, repeated and shouted about the potential ‘Energy Freeze’ that he planned (with Ofgem) to implement. The only problem, is that with decreasing oil prices, gas and electricity both coming down by 28% and 15% respectively, the energy suppliers are ruining it for Labour.
E.ON, British Gas and Scottish Power have all announced that they will be decreasing, not increasing, the costs of their new tariff options. The drops so far announced have ranged from 3-5% which amounts to a not so significant amount, but a significant change in public perception and direction.
The policy paraded so often by Labour was in response to rising oil and energy prices and the lack of action by the large energy suppliers. Miliband planned to implement price freezes across the UK to ensure that no family’s energy bills changed, even if wholesale energy costs did. However, this strategy was focused on the likely eventuality that wholesale prices would continue to increase, leading to an ‘energy freeze’ saving the consumer money. Now that the prices are falling and a ‘freeze’ would effectively stop the consumer from seeing the savings promised by the suppliers, Miliband has changed the plan from an ‘energy price freeze’ to an ‘energy price cap’.
A fairly redundant change, one meant to save face amid a sea of quiet chuckles that this powerful vote gathering weapon has been swiftly removed from the Labour arsenal.
And do so, Miliband’s attempt to gather voters using a short-term but lucrative plan, has backfired completely and the party has been left looking a little red-faced. The country will have to wait now to see just what policy will take the lead in any Labour campaign.