Arab Today, arab today chris huhne to pledge to \get tough\ over energy prices
Last Updated : GMT 22:44:13
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Chris Huhne to pledge to \'get tough\' over energy prices

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Chris Huhne to pledge to \'get tough\' over energy prices

Birmingham - Arabstoday

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will say he is determined to \"get tough\" with the six biggest energy companies, in his speech to the Lib Dem conference.He will detail plans to help save money by making it easier for people to spot cheaper deals and switch providers.He will also say Ofgem should be given power to force companies to give money back to customers for \"bad behaviour\".Mr Huhne will also use his speech to say that Lib Dems will not let the UK\'s ties with Europe be watered down.The conference in Birmingham is due to debate the NHS shake-up, adult social care and green economic growth on Tuesday, and will hear a speech from Pensions Minister Steve Webb.Mr Huhne is still waiting to hear whether he will face charges over allegations he asked his wife to accept his speeding points for him in 2003 - which he denies.He will take to the conference stage on Tuesday to pledge to help people get better deals from the \"big six\" energy companies - British Gas, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern, Npower, E.On and EDF.The energy secretary will say: \"We want simpler tariffs, requiring energy companies to tell you whether you could buy more cheaply on another tariff.\"He said the energy regulator Ofgem should get new powers to make firms pay up to customers when there has been \"bad behaviour\" - such as breaching licence conditions.Ofgem already has powers to fine companies up to 10% of their annual turnover.Other plans include stopping delays to Ofgem rulings by giving firms a right of appeal - rather than allowing them to refer rulings to the Competition Commission, which can hold up the process.And he will criticise those who keep prices high for millions of customers, while offering cut-price deals online - something he says is anti-competitive.He will say: \"It\'s not fair that big energy companies can push their prices up for the vast majority of their consumers, who do not switch, while introducing cut-throat offers for new customers that stop small firms entering the market.\"That looks to me like predatory pricing. It must and will stop.\"He will also say it \"makes sense\" to reduce reliance on expensive oil and gas and promote instead low-carbon energy businesses.And he will pledge to make people in \"fuel poverty\" - defined as households which spend more than 10% of their income on fuel costs - a priority for the government\'s Green Deal - which aims to allow people to make their homes more energy efficient and pay for it out of the resulting savings to their gas and electricity bills in the long term.Mr Huhne will also use his address to deliver a strong message to Conservative Eurosceptics, stressing the importance of working with Britain\'s partners in Europe on issues such as the environment and exports - and vowing to block renegotiation of existing EU treaties.\"We will not, as Liberal Democrats in government, weaken the ties that deliver our national interest through Europe,\" he will say.\"Whatever we think of the Conservative campaign in the AV referendum - and I for one thought the vilification of Nick [Clegg] was appalling - for Liberal Democrats compromise is not and cannot be a dirty word.\"He will say that the \"danger\" of refusing to compromise is \"now clear from America\".\"There the markets looked over the brink when the mad-cap Republican right in Congress would not compromise with the President.\"Let that be a warning to the Conservative right here: we need no Tea Party tendency in Britain.\"If you fail to compromise, if you fail to seek the common ground that unites us, if you insist that only you have the answers, if you keep beating the anti-European drum, if you slaver over tax cuts for the rich, then you will put in peril the most crucial task of this government.\"You will wreck the nation\'s economy and common purpose. We are all in this together and we cant get out of it alone.\" From / BBC

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