Making the energy companies offer the cheapest tariff to elderly consumers in the North East & Cumbria

Ed MilibandEd Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, this week has called for energy companies to be forced by law to guarantee that elderly customers over 75 years old be placed on the cheapest tariff for their gas and electricity. 

Ed Miliband said:

"We’ve got six main energy companies in Britain. Competition should be good for consumers. But the way that the current market works is disadvantaging them. The tariffs are so complicated at the moment that 80% of people are overpaying for their gas and electricity. 

"And we know who the most vulnerable are. Those least able to find the cheapest deal, or to be online. Often the elderly. Offering different products is a good thing. But if those products end up taking advantage of older people – that is wrong.

"So I’ll give the energy companies a simple rule. By all means put different products out there and for different kinds of consumers. But we will ensure you give pensioners over seventy-five the lowest tariff on offer. You make it happen, or we’ll put it into law.

"There may be less money around. But for those four million pensioners, Labour can still deliver fairness in these tough times."

Luciana Berger MP, Labour's Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister, ahead of the debate in Parliament today on the cost of living, said:

"With energy bills soaring, driving up inflation and contributing to the cost of living crisis hitting the North East and Cumbria, this out-of-touch government's only answer is to tell consumers they’re to blame for not shopping around enough. But the 400 tariffs currently available are often so complicated that customers can't work out if they're paying the right amount for their energy, and now led to 4 in 5 households over-paying. Labour's new plan will tackle these powerful vested interests, who make over £100 annual profit per customer, and promote fairness in a way that the Tory-led Government has so far been unwilling to do."