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Meltdown: Parties Feel The Heat Over Power Bills

Isabel Oakeshott and Jack Grimston, The Sunday Times

Cameron’s pledge to roll back green taxes has baffled his party and Lib Dem allies

[…] After weeks on the back foot over gas and electricity bills, the prime minister used a rowdy session in the Commons last week to declare the government would be “rolling back green taxes”. He also announced plans for a review of competition in the energy market.

Lib Dems were aghast at what they called a “panicky U-turn”. It turned out they were informed of Cameron’s plans only half an hour earlier, and had tried in vain to stop the juggernaut.

“We told them, ‘hang on, what’s this about? We don’t know anything about this, it should have been agreed by the coalition,’” said a source. “But in the end it was Cameron’s question time and we couldn’t stop it.”

The confusion was such that when Clegg and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, heard Cameron talk about rolling back the green taxes, they initially thought he meant to abolish them altogether, rather than cut them. […]

This weekend, a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times [shows that] a hefty majority supports all the proposals made by party leaders to cut bills — and only 15% support green taxes being levied through energy bills. General taxation to fund the initiatives was preferred by 39%, while 34% would rather end the schemes altogether.

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