Government cap on energy prices would spark backlash | Nils Pratley HomeNewsTop StoriesGovernment cap on energy prices would spark backlash | Nils Pratley

The business secretary has said he will take ‘strong’ action – but it’s him who will be blamed when bills have to go up

Was Greg Clark airing a manifesto promise or signalling government action in the next few days? It was impossible to tell, but the business secretary finally seems to have come to the firm conclusion that energy suppliers are ripping off too many customers. Clark wants to take “muscular and strong” action to stop the “flagrant mistreatment” of loyal customers who are being “milked”. Probable translation: he wants a price cap on standard variable tariffs.

One can sympathise with the implied analysis of big energy companies’ behaviour. Loyal customers, or those who can’t be bothered to shop around, receive the worst prices, as everybody knows by now. Yet Clark, if he opts for price caps, needs to explain two things.

Related: UK government vows strong action to rein in energy companies

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