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Labour Accuses Government Of ‘Cooking The Books’ On Energy Policy

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Rowena Mason, The Daily Telegraph

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said the figures were a “shameful” and “underhand attempt” to mask the real impact of the Government’s policies on energy bills. 

Households will have to spend thousands of pounds buying new green appliances to benefit from the Government’s claims its policies are bringing down energy bills, it emerged last night.

The Government was accused of an “underhand” attempt to mask the cost of green energy and rising gas prices, after it claimed the net effect of all its policies will be a £166 reduction in bills by 2020.

Official estimates said replacing household appliances like washing machines and televisions could take £158 off the average bill, while new boilers could on average save £81 in energy costs.

Ministers claimed this would more than “offset” green taxes and subsidies, which are likely to contribute around £199 to the average bill by 2020.

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, said the Government has “a duty to help keep bills down – and that’s what we’ve been doing”.

However, millions of households, especially older people, will not necessarily be replacing their appliances within the next seven years.

Many people choose to repair their old white goods when they go wrong or buy second hand ones that do not comply with the latest green standards.

Last night, Labour accused Mr Davey, of “cooking the books” as his claims to bring down bills will only be true if people splash out on new greener televisions, fridge-freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and gas-combi boilers.

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said the figures were a “shameful” and “underhand attempt” to mask the real impact of the Government’s policies on energy bills

“At a time when hard-pressed families and pensioners are seeing their incomes squeezed, only this out-of-touch Government could expect people to fork out thousands of pounds on new TVs, fridge freezers and washing machines,” she said.

“Instead of cooking the books to trick people into thinking their energy bills will be lower, Ministers should get behind Labour’s plans to overhaul the energy market and deliver fair prices for the public.”

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