David Cameron took a pasting at PMQs today. Ed Miliband, armed with a whole slew of lines from John Major’s speech yesterday, deftly mocked the Prime Minister. Cameron, faced by a Labour wall of noise, struggled to make his replies heard. At one point, he rose to his feet thinking Miliband had finished, only for the Labour leader to contemptuously signal at him to sit down.
But Cameron did announce some policies today that might offer him a way out of the energy hole he’s currently in. First, he made clear that he wants to scale back the green taxes and levies that are pushing up bills. After a Quad a fortnight ago where the Liberal Democrats made their opposition to this clear, it was thought that this was going to have to wait for the Tory manifesto. But Number 10 are now confident that they can do something in time for the autumn statement. If so, that’ll be major progress on giving Cameron a response to Miliband’s price freeze.
The second was a review into competition in the energy market. This might sound technical but it does strike at the fundamental problem, which is that there isn’t enough competition between energy suppliers. If the government can get more competition injected into the market, then prices should stop going up so fast.
A Tory response to Miliband’s price freeze has to be based around cutting green levies and more competition. Cameron lost this PMQs but he did make progress on both of these fronts. Ultimately, that might turn out to be the real significance of today.Tags: David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Energy prices, PMQs, UK politics