Kate Andrews comments on Labour plans
“Nationalising the UK’s energy grid would jeopardise access to basic essentials, stepping back into an era of controlled industrial strategy.
“In the 1990s – the decade of liberalisation in the energy market – household electricity bills dropped by 26 per cent; alas, since 2001, they have risen by 50 per cent in real terms in England and Wales, largely as a result of government intervention and a pile-on of red tape.
“Reducing electricity costs and improving environmental standards are two compatible goals, which could be achieved by rolling back unnecessary tinkering in the industry, while simultaneously introducing a single market-based mechanism for decarbonisation, such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme.
“But in order to keep standards high and access to energy available for all, we must resist any temptation to hand the sector over to the state.
“Countries that suffer from state-controlled energy networks fight to allow the private sector to provide these services. It would be a grave error for the UK to revert back to tried-and-failed policies, while others work hard to overcome them.”
Notes to editors:
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