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'Labour Must Help Block Merger'

Monday, November 20, 2017

 

GMB CALLS ON LABOUR FRONT BENCH TO COMMIT TO DOWNGRADE OFGEM IN LINE WITH HELM REPORT AND PUSH FOR SSE NPOWER MERGER TO BE BLOCKED

Ofgem has been a toothless wonder for years and has failed to protect consumers so creating a ‘big five’ energy companies, instead of six, will only make things worse in a market that is already failing every household in the UK says GMB.

GMB, the union for energy workers, is calling on the Labour Party front bench to commit to downgrade Ofgem in line with the Helm report and push for the SSE Npower merger to be blocked.

The union has written to Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and Rebecca Long-Bailey the Shadow Secretary of State for BEIS seeking their support.

Last week GMB wrote to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling on him to use his powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to block the proposed merger of energy companies SSE and Npower [1] on public interest grounds if the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) didn’t initiate an investigation.

GMB says that turning the big six energy providers into a big five would create ‘a chokehold that is bad for customers, workers and the wider economy, while the union has long called for the abolition of Ofgem.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy said:

“GMB is calling on the Labour Party front bench to give a commitment to downgrade Ofgem in line with the recommendations of the Helm report [2] and for their support in bringing pressure to bear on Greg Clark to block the proposed merger between SSE and Npower.

“Ofgem has been a toothless wonder for years and has failed to protect consumers so creating a ‘big five’ energy companies, instead of six, will only make things worse in a market that is already failing every household in the UK.

"The Helm report exposes in great detail how supposed competition in the energy sector is in fact a mirage and radical overhaul is required if stop our vital infrastructure being damaged and consumers being ripped off.

"Having a smaller number of big players as a result of a merger between SSE and Npower would only accentuate further the problems in a "cartelised" market without real competition, effective oversight or strong central direction.

“The Helm report was clear: firstly, it is for the Government to set out an energy policy to guarantee an energy supply that is secure, low carbon and the least expensive without repeating some of the ‘spectacularly bad’ decisions of the past; and secondly, all the operators in the energy sector are effectively contractors which means Ministers have a duty towards the sector beyond that owed to other industries that are genuinely outside of the Government’s control and direction.

"Any role Ofgem should have at the of this should be greatly downgraded.

“GMB calls on Labour front bench to work with us to prevent yet more needless price hikes that are the penalty for a dysfunctional energy market.”

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

[1] Secretary of State Must Block Proposed SSE Merger

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Should the merger be allowed to proceed, then it will lead to the ‘cartelisation’ of a market that will be without competition, effective oversight or strong central direction says GMB.

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/greg-clarke-letter

[2] See the full Helm Report here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-energy-independent-review

Previous press releases:

GMB SUPPORTS HELM 'COST OF ENERGY REVIEW' RECOMMENDATIONS

Friday, November 10, 2017

Helm exposes that competition in the sector is in fact a mirage and radical overhaul is required if the fleecing of consumers is to stop and damage to vital infrastructure through thousands of short-sighted job losses at SSE, NPower and across the energy sector are to be avoided says GMB

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/cost-energy-review-downgrade-ofgem

GMB Calls Again for 'toothless' Ofgem To Be Scrapped

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ofgem should be abolished with all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament says GMB.

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/toothless-ofgem-scrapped

GMB Response To Energy Price Cap

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ofgem must distinguish between profiteering and the resources needed to generate jobs and pay for the infrastructure needed to maintain our power networks says union.

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/energy-price-cap

GMB Responds To Theresa May's renewed pledge for Energy Price Cap at Tory Conference

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ofgem should be abolished and all its regulatory functions taken over by the Government itself, making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary part of the forthcoming legislation says GMB.

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/energy-price-cap-response

Ofgem Must Be Scrapped

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Government cannot duck taking the decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector 

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/ofgem-must-be-scrapped-says-gmb Share this page
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