Voters: energy companies are bluffing

September 27, 2013, 8:00 AM GMT+0

The majority of the British public do not think price freezes would actually lead to power cuts - the energy companies are bluffing

Ed Miliband’s announcement on Tuesday that Labour would freeze energy bills for two years if elected was met with fierce criticism from British Gas owner Centrica, who said capping prices would halt the investment needed to avoid ‘blackouts.’ New YouGov research finds that the public do not believe the claims – but the issue is highly partisan.

58% of British adults think there is no serious danger of a price freeze leading to power cuts – the energy companies are bluffing. Only 27% think a price fix would increase the risk of blackouts while 15% don’t know.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has dismissed the claims of power shortages as “nonsense” – and his supporters agree: by 75%-35% Labour voters think the claims are false. Both Liberal Democrats and UKIP supporters also agree, though to a lesser extent.

Conservatives, on the other hand, believe price fixes will increase the risk of power shortages, by 54%-36%.

Appearing on BBC1’s Question Time last night, Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove said Ed Miliband had been “absolutely right to draw attention to one of the worst examples of the way in which people's cost of living is under attack." However he also said Labour’s plan to impose a statutory price freeze was “not as well thought through as it should be.”

Image: Getty

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