The Liberal Democrats have said they will propose legislation this week that would freeze energy bills by preventing the October cap hike.
Party leader Sir Ed Davey accused conservative leadership election favorite, Liz Truss, of “leaving people worried” about her “refusal to reveal her plans” on how to support families with the rise. of energy bills.
The energy price cap is expected to rise by 80% in October after regulator, Ofgem, said the average household’s annual bill could be raised from £ 1,971 to £ 3,549.
The LibDems said they will present a bill to Parliament this week that would prohibit Ofgem from raising the limit above the current level.
The country is facing a social catastrophe like we haven’t seen for decades
Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Lib Dems
The bill, which the party said could be unveiled on Tuesday, would also call on the government to provide funding to energy suppliers to cover the cost shortfall, which would be paid in part by expanding and backdating the oil and gas producer tax, he said. said the party.
And the proposals would see small businesses helped with their costs by providing subsidies equal to 80% of the expected increase in energy bills.
LibDems said the measure could be financed by reversing proposed tax cuts for banks.
Submitting bills are presented without debate in the House of Commons and the Liberal Democrats are unlikely to be able to force a vote on it in the foreseeable future.
The work is pushing for a six-month freeze on energy bills at the current price limit of £ 1,971, also financed in part by the expansion of the oil and gas profits tax.
Ms Truss, who is expected to take office as prime minister on Tuesday if she wins the conservative leadership election against her rival Rishi Sunak, was questioned about the idea of freezing the BBC’s energy bills on Sunday with the Laura Kuenssberg program.
Ms. Truss said: “I will not go into details of what would have been an alleged announcement sooner, because I think it would be wrong to do so.”
The hopeful leadership said that if he wins and takes the post of prime minister, he will make an announcement “within a week” of how “we will address the issue of energy bills and long-term supply”.
Ms. Truss was prompted several times during the interview to say what kind of support she intends to provide if elected, but the foreign minister would not have been attracted.
“Before being elected prime minister, you don’t have all the means to get things done.
“So that’s why it’s going to take a week to work out the precise plans and make sure we’re able to announce them,” he said.
But the lib-dem leader said Ms. Truss refuses to “clarify” her plans.
Sir Ed said: “The country is facing a social catastrophe like we haven’t seen for decades.
“Liz Truss’s refusal to reveal her plans is leaving people worried about how they will be able to afford to heat their homes this winter.
“The Liberal Democrats have drafted a bill to freeze energy bills, which could be presented on the first day by the new prime minister.
“Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak must take their first act to undo this staggering increase in energy prices, to save millions of families from poverty.”