We’ve written a number of times since Ed Miliband’s conference speech that cutting green taxes would be an appealing part of a Tory response (see here, here and here). As Rob Halfon argued this morning, a policy focused on the cost of living would never have seen Conservatives support them in the first place.
So far, the Government have focused on the weaknesses in Labour’s plan, but that can only ever be one part of a full reply.
Debate has flowed back and forth in the Quad about the idea, with the Treasury reluctant to ditch anything that brings in money, and the Lib Dems loathe to reduce levies that fund the construction of more renewable capacity.
Now the pressure is being increased by The Sun, which has launched a petition on the topic:
“After the latest shocking rise from British Gas it is time to take matters into our own hands. We say David Cameron needs to get to grips with an issue that is ruining lives, could derail economic recovery and is CERTAIN to see some poor folk die this winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes. We, the hard-pressed householders of Britain, call on the Prime Minister to act NOW to slash green subsidies and bring down energy bills.”
There are plenty of other things that need to be done to reduce bills – opening up the energy market, securing investment in new capacity and getting fracking to increase affordable supply all spring to mind – but with The Sun estimating the cost of green taxes at £132.20 a year for the average household, can we afford not to take this step?
I, for one, have signed the petition here.