The good news for the Cameroons on energy is that it looks like they’ll get an agreement by the Autumn Statement to take at least some of the green levies off energy bill. The bad news is that this means that the debate sparked by Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months if elected is going to continue until, at least, December 4th.
An agreement between Cameron and Clegg on energy bills does now appear to be close. The Lib Dem anger at Cameron using PMQs to try and bounce them into a set of concessions has been replaced by a fast-moving negotiation. As one senior Number 10 source says, ‘There’s lots of shouting and public posturing, but 12 hours later Clegg is signalling that he’s prepared to do business.’ Interestingly, the Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes told Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics that ‘there’s a deal to be done. We understand we have got to take the burden off the consumer.’
The Tories are also confident that the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey won’t be able to block any deal. As one of those involved in the negotiations puts it, things are being decided ‘way beyond Davey now.’
Inside Number 10, there hope is that once they can get a deal to take some of these green levies off bills, they’ll be able to start attacking Miliband for his support for decarbonising the energy sector by 2030 which would drive up prices. Their aim is to ‘leave Miliband holding the increasing-green-costs baby.’Tags: Autumn statement, Coalition, Conservatives, David Cameron, Ed Davey, Ed Miliband, energy bills, energy price freeze, Energy prices, Nick Clegg, UK politics