Pledges to cut energy bills have come so thick and fast they are now as incomprehensible as the tangle of tariffs they seek to replace. The latest – under which suppliers must put customers on the best deal – were outlined by the Energy Secretary yesterday, based on plans from the regulator. But Downing Street claimed them as proof that David Cameron's (unscripted) recent promise to tackle exorbitant bills was not just hot air. Hardly. Where the Prime Minister talked glibly of the cheapest rates for all, now householders are to be assured only of the "most suitable".
In fact, the change is no bad thing: Mr Cameron's scheme was both unrealistic and anti-competitive. But the plans are still heavy-handed, even in the watered-down version. Nor will bills necessarily drop: as the more expensive packages go, so will the super-cheap options that they funded.