Osborne accused of damaging energy sector with attempts to bring fairer prices for consumers

George Osborne has been accused of damaging the energy sector by fellow cabinet member Ed Davey.

In what almost looks like a role reversal for both men involved, Osborne is being criticised by Davey for trying to ensure that falling oil prices are passed on to consumers.

Davey’s criticism comes a week after Osborne said that the government must “watch like hawks” to ensure customers benefitted in the form of lower energy bills, and lower travel costs.

Davey, who is the Lib Dem energy secretary, said in an interview with the Financial Times that he didn’t know what Osborne was planning, but that meddling with the energy markets for short-term headlines would be damaging to the sector and to the economy.

Instead, Davey said that genuine competition was the best way to push down energy prices and get the best deal for consumers.

He said: “I think British business, British industry and British investors would like politicians to think more strategically and think about the longer term.

“And if they interfere and meddle for short-term headlines, that is only going to damage markets and investment and our economy.”

Meanwhile, Labour has thrown down the energy gauntlet in the form of a demand for fast-track legislation to give Ofgem the power to cut energy bills when wholesale prices go down.

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