Taxpayers’ Alliance ‘made dodgy claims on energy bills’

 

The Energy Secretary Ed Davey has attacked the Taxpayers’ Alliance – accusing the campaign group of making “dodgy, back-of-fag-packet claims” about energy bills.

The Liberal Democrat minister hit out after the low-tax pressure group published figures claiming that household energy bills could reach £2,000 per household by the end of the decade – with green charges and subsequent VAT increasing prices by 29 per cent.

Its analysis was based on calculations from the investment bank Liberum Capital which predicted the rise in green energy taxes will mean average electricity bills reach £812 by 2020. The TaxPayers’ Alliance estimated gas bills could also rise by 29 per cent, using the forecasts to launch a campaign calling for an end to wind turbine subsidies.

But the figures have been disputed by Mr Davey, who has written to the Taxpayers’ Alliance to express his anger. The letter, seen by The Independent, says: “Your calculations are wrong and there is no good foundation to your claim that by 2020 green charges and tax will account for £620 of average energy bills. It is disingenuous to seek to pin the blame on government policies using inflated assessments of their impacts while ignoring the main driver for price increases – rising global fossil fuel prices.”

Mr Davey goes on to claim that Liberium “does not appear to have undertaken the detailed modelling of the electricity market required accurately to estimate the impact on prices and bills.” In addition, the ministers says there is no justification for assuming the 29 per cent increase in electricity prices would also apply to gas.

Mr Davey told The Independent: “Energy bills are too serious an issue for consumers to be misled with dodgy, back-of-fag-packet claims.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change insists that spending on green energy will be offset by savings for customers, making bills around £166 cheaper in the long run.

Last night The Taxpayers’ Alliance’s chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “The Liberum estimate of the investment needed seems very reasonable, particularly given the problems facing the nuclear programme and the Government missing their target to reduce the cost of offshore wind. It is very worrying that the Government is premising its policies on rising gas prices.”

Taxing questions: What they said

Taxpayers Alliance, led by Matthew Sinclair, says….

Electricity bills will rise by 29 per cent between now and 2020

Ed Davey says…

The new energy policy will account for 17 per cent of the increase in electricity unit prices, which will not affect household bills.

Taxpayers Alliance says…

A similar 29 per cent increase on gas bills, which it claims will rise to £1,070, making a total average energy bill almost £1,900.

Ed Davey says…

The policy impact on gas prices is currently much lower than electricity. It accounts for just 5 per cent of the gas retail price, and this is not currently expected to rise through to 2020.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Factory Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer ba...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Helpdesk Analyst - Essex - Established IT business

£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003