Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick talks about chosing between heating and food on the table


- Credit: Archant

Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze has gone down well with the public, who are sick and tired of runaway bills and having to make ends meet.

As the nights draw in and winter approaches. people have been telling me they are worried about how cold it will get and the choices they will have to make to pay their household costs. Frankly, I don’t think that is right. People shouldn’t have to make the choice between putting food on the table and turning on the heating.

However, rather than acknowledging public concern, the inflation-busting increases from the big six energy companies announced recently show – like the government – that they just don’t get it.

Copying the banks contempt for public opinion, they’re not content with profits running into billions, they want more and they’re opposing any change. When Labour introduced the windfall tax on utilities in 1997 to bring down unemployment, the industries said then it couldn’t be done. It could, it worked and we can do something similar again. Ed’s stand against vested interests, whether it’s the media, energy companies or train operators, is gaining him a sound reputation.

The charge that the government is out of touch is resonating with a fed-up public. Ed’s recent appointment of trusted people such as Rachel Reeves to deal with the welfare bill and Tristam Hunt to take on the future of education shows we’re serious about doing the opposite and delivering change.

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As the economy improves and continues to recover in the wake of the 2008 world crash, there’s everything to play for in 2015. In the coming months it’s up to us to show people that they can trust Labour with their bills and this country’s future.

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