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PMQs: who will take credit for SSE’s price freeze?

26 March 2014

Perhaps both David Cameron and Ed Miliband will try to take credit for SSE’s announcement that it is freezing its prices until 2016 when they tussle at PMQs. Number 10 this morning said:

‘Anything which helps consumers with their bills is to be welcomed, of course and one of the things that the company is explaining today is it is able to, a principle reason why it is able to make this decision is because of the rolling back of the green levies and green charges, which is a result of this government.’

This is true, but it’s not quite the full picture. The only reason the government decided to roll back the ‘green crap’ is that Labour spooked ministers with its energy prize freeze announcement. It was the political game-changer of the autumn. SSE might be freezing its prices because it can, rather than because Ed Miliband scared the company, but Labour did have a role in today’s announcement. The question is whether the party can find another game-changer. So far it hasn’t managed to.

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  • allymax bruce

    ‘who will take credit for SSE’s price freeze?’

    Climate Change ?
    Warmer Weather ?
    Santa ?

  • George_Arseborne

    He brought down Murdoch empire, he stopped an unnecessary war in Syria, he told Bob Diamond to go, he made Daily mail toothless and today Energy companies have started price freezing (remember the government line when he announced this?), what quality does a Leader needs? The real poll is in 2015 & Britain will become Great again under Milliband’s Leadership. Not this beer and bingo shinenigan.

  • itdoesntaddup

    If SSE are offering a price freeze that implies they have hedged forward their commodity risk – adding to demand and prices to do so. Prices are now higher than they otherwise would have been in consequence.

    • Tom Tom

      They changed their pricing plans from 11% off the Standard Rate to 2% discount so they have raised the price for people on special tariffs. Anyway there is a surplus of gas so wholesale prices are falling – they simply lock people in to fixed price deals

  • davebush999

    Ah yes, Dave Cameron, the John Terry of politics (always trying to muscle in on others popularity).

  • Thatcherite Lee

    There’s a world of diffference between a company taking voluntary action to reduce costs than a government imposed restriction on an entire industry.
    If Labour don’t understand this then that just proves what a bunch of thickos they are.

  • Tony_E

    The ‘Green Crap’ is slowly starting to recede. That leaves Miliband exposed – and the costs of adaptation will now be the recognised standard, not the costs of mitigation as the green lobby has tried to push.

    In short – scientists are now moving to a much more enlightened position on climate change – and the costs of adaptation is much lower and do not require energy consumers to be fleeced

  • Terence Hale

    PMQs. I am not a communist, a socialist or a liberal looking at the events in central
    Europe the danger is not from a revival of communism it is from fascism. Listening
    to the British Parliament I observe politicians with a mentality of parrots and not men of office. Russia has experienced the force of fascism and recognize such. The Ukraine is in a political mess with people of office making expressions associated with a “Stammtisch”. I can understand Russia without supporting military action. The recurrence of fascism has historically its basis in street democracy, the democracy of the mob. It just need a leader to evolve and then we have a Hitler scenario. I would advise British politician not just to inform themselves from the boulevard press and think about signing political guarantee as a “blank check”.

  • JoeDM

    It’s all going tits-up for Milibean.

    • Shazza

      Yup. Pass the popcorn.

  • david trant

    The party leader that comes up with the best plan to bring the energy Mafia to heel will get the key to the door of no 10. The energy Mafia are the most hated institutions in the country 72% of the public when polled want them re-nationalised.
    This freeze is an admission that they got things badly wrong and it is also a slap in the face for those who criticised Ed. Miliband, but he should not rest on his laurels, and keep kicking the open door.

    For those who have commented on the redundancies they are voluntary and there’ll be a rush for the door, the only people who hate the energy companies more than their customers are their employees.

  • swatnan

    Maybe SSE saw the writing on the wall for Dave and decided to suck up to EdM now rather than in 2015. If they could do the freeze now, why couldn’t they do it 6 months ago. And I expect the other EnCos to follow suit. Theres also that Report coming out tomorrow which will knock the EnCos for 6.Its a win for EdM and a poke in the eye for Dave. All this so called choice is illusionary; its just musical chairs around Alice’s Tea Party.

    • DWWolds

      And it has been achieved at a cost of 500 redundancies, a cut in investment in new sources of supply and in profits. However much the latter will please the lefties it means a cut in dividends to the investors, many of which are pension funds. Accordingly, that will mean smaller pensions for a good many people on average incomes. Some win for Milliminor!

  • Jonathan

    I expect number 10 meant “principal” not “principle”. Do keep up.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Oh, so SSE can just announce a price freeze ‘because they can’ until 2016 even though the wholesale market is doing this?

    Can we have John Major come out every 8-12 months please, issuing a statement one-off-impost style?

  • David B

    On the Today program SSE said they would be paying for this by cost cutting, including a reduction in the workforce.

    This may not play so well when the redundancy notices go out!

    • HookesLaw

      And cancelling 3 wind farms.
      But cost cutting is what will have to happen if prices are to be kept low. Labour must take credit for the lost jobs and decline in green energy if they want to take credit for the lower prices

    • telemachus

      There is little doubt that this initiative of SSE is a triumph for Ed Miliband
      How it is achieved is of no interest to the voters toiling under the yoke of living standards dropping week on week
      Each Crumb is another welcome nail in the Tory electoral coffin

      • Colonel Mustard

        Too funny.

      • realfish

        You are Norman Smith of the BBC. Admit it.

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