Environmentalists have criticised David Cameron for his 'disingenuous' attempt to blame energy price rises on green levies.
The sums involved are tiny compared to the profits of the largest private corporations and increases in wholesale prices in a deformed global market, they point out.
The willingness of the PM to scrap environmental commitments at the first opportunity reveals the untenability of his claim that the Conservative-run coalition would be 'the greenest government ever', critics say.
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, commented: “It’s irresponsible of the Prime Minister to blame higher bills on measures to invest in green energy and energy efficency.
“The main reason reason families are paying more is the increasing wholesale price of gas, which is expected to rise by 40 per cent over the next few decades. The Government’s own Committee on Climate Change has said that the costs of low-carbon measures have been small by comparison. The best thing we could do to cut bills in the long term would be to move away from gas and invest seriously in renewables.
“Nuclear power is also increasingly expensive yet the Government is happy for billpayers to fund a lavish subsidy for EDF. By contrast, renewable technologies have seen dramatic price falls over the past few years.
“If the Prime Minister really wants to help families struggling with bills he should put in place measures to insulate homes up and down the country. This could be funded by a windfall tax, and would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
A windfall tax has also been proposed by former Conservative PM John Major, while Labour has promised a freeze on energy prices which some analysts say is not sustainable and leaves structural market and environmental issues unaddressed.
Some Liberal Democrats have criticised the Prime Minister, but have reversed their own previous critical positions on nuclear energy.