Better late than never. Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer has finally come up with what he claims is a “fully costed” energy plan which means consumers won’t have to pay “a penny more” on energy this winter and the average household will save £1,000.
The Labour leader has also labelled the cost of living crisis a “national emergency,” and says that he would freeze the energy price cap at the current level of £1,971, for a six-month period, giving energy companies £29bn to cope with the soaring price of energy. Starmer may have taken his time in getting to grips with this national emergency but he has found surprising support from Tory voters: The latest poll from YouGov shows that 75 per cent of 2019 Tory voters are backing Labour’s energy plan.
Under the plan, Labour would backdate the windfall tax introduced in May, to January, and cancel £400 payments to every household. Starmer also claims that the plan would recoup £7bn in debt interest payments, as inflation caused by rising energy bills would be reduced.
The latest move comes after Starmer has been roundly condemned for not being quick enough to address the crisis. But he claims the proposals have been worked on “for weeks.”
Starmer may have won over a big chunk of the Tory voting base, but his plan has faced criticism from the number-crunchers. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned his plan could cost £30bn in just six months, but would need to be continued for an entire year, bringing the cost to £60bn – similar to the cost of the furlough scheme.