Privatised Utilities

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 1:49 pm on 19th March 1997.

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Photo of John Battle John Battle , Leeds West 1:49 pm, 19th March 1997

Are not the Government's claims of energy price cuts proving to be another great Tory myth? Is the Minister aware that, as he spelled out in his written reply to me on 25 February, Britain is 11th out of 15 in the European league tables showing reductions in prices to residential electricity consumers since 1990, which is after privatisation? Is he aware that even Greece has cut prices by more than a quarter during that period?

The truth is that prices in Britain have risen in real terms. The Minister admitted as such, so will he now accept that as the truth at the Dispatch Box? The Tories' record shows that current domestic prices are well up on 1990 prices. Labour will address regulatory reform to put the consumer first for a change. Consumers have been short-changed under this Government, and they will be better off under Labour.