Rachel Reeves has asked Greg Clark to clarify his stance on the controversial price caps, which business groups blasted earlier this month.
Today, Greg Clark was questioned by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) Select Committee, chaired by Reeves, on the implications of the proposed legislation, during which he refused to say whether it would be in place by next winter – despite the support it has on both sides of the House. Further hearings will take place in December and January.
The draft legislation was slammed by business groups when it was announced by the Prime Minister during her conference speech in Manchester.
Following the announcement, John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: “The Prime Minister is right that families are struggling to cope with the rise in energy bills and this is due to green taxes and subsidies. Instead of intervening in the market, the Government should stand up to the green lobby and slash unnecessary taxes and subsidies that artificially inflate the cost of energy for families.”
The Labour MP was eager to establish Clark’s position as is said to be reluctant to debate the proposals if they are likely to be dropped.
However, at the announcement of call for evidence, Reeves said: “As a committee we want to take a close eye to the government’s proposals and make recommendations to ensure that the reality of a price cap can match the rhetoric by delivering lower bills for consumers and fixing the broken energy market.”
According to the National Audit Office, green levies are expected to cost households an average of £110 a year each by 2020.