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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.

GMB, the union for energy workers, has commented on energy secretary Greg Clark's assertion that Ofgem can fix the failings in the energy market via the imposition of price regulation on suppliers after former energy regulator Stephen Littlechild said that Ofgem did not have the power to fix prices. [1]

GMB has once again called for Ofgem to be scrapped and for the Government step in to regulate the energy sector.

The Tory Party manifesto before the general election pledged to introduce a "safeguard tariff" to cap consumers' bills, however Stephen Littlechild has said that Ofgem can propose a tariff but energy suppliers do not have to accept it.

GMB has always ridiculed the very idea of a competitive market in a natural monopoly because it is a contradiction in terms that we all pay for through our energy bills.

GMB says this shows once again that Ofgem is not fit for purpose and needs to be replaced.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said:

“Ofgem has been a toothless wonder that passed its use by date a long time ago.

“It 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.

“This would form the basis of an energy policy that took the real decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector, whilst guaranteeing the resources needed to generate jobs and to pay for the vital infrastructure needed to maintain our power networks.

“Government should also have powers to limit profits and, where necessary, to finance and run power stations."

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351, Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors:

[1] Littlechild: Ofgem has no power to enforce price cap

29/06/2017

Former regulator says government cannot pass the buck for its manifesto commitment to Ofgem

Read more: http://utilityweek.co.uk/news/Littlechild-Ofgem-has-no-power-to-enforce-price-cap/1306342?utm_source=Utility+Week+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4d4484d0f4-UW_Daily_news_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4b3e4ed9dc-4d4484d0f4-101147997#.WVZvgYTyuUl

Previous press releases

Ofgem Must Be Scrapped

Thursday, August 4, 2016

GMB Calls For Ofgem To Be Scrapped And For Government To Take Over As Regulator Accountable To Parliament

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

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

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