Labour to rein in utilities
Tuesday 25 April 1995
The Labour Party has promised a radical overhaul of utility regulation, including control of profits and and a fairer deal for consumers.
Brian Wilson, shadow spokesman on trade and industry, also said that under a Labour government, less power would be given to individuals than under the current regime.
Speaking at a London conference, Mr Wilson said the recent decision by the electricity watchdog, Professor Stephen Littlechild, to re-open his review of electricity price caps "spelt the death knell" for the existing controls, which are based on an-inflation linked price limit.
The need to re-open the price review only months after it was agreed showed regulators were at a "massive informational disadvantage" compared with the companies which had every incentive to obscure the picture regarding costs and investment.
Mr Wilson said that Labour might introduce automatic price cuts where profits exceeded a "normal" level. Although no decisions had been taken, a profit-sharing scheme might be the consumers' best protection, while still giving companies incentive to increase efficiency.
Labour has yet to judge whether a "windfall tax" on utility profits would be appropriate in the short term, but Mr Wilson said that in the longer term, any need for a windfall tax would mean the system was not working.
Other proposals under consideration include the establishment of advisory panels to "assist" regulators in decision-making and a clear mechanism for appeals.
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...