Labour’s leader in the European Parliament is demanding a Europe wide investigation into energy market manipulation, following shock claims that Britain’s £300bn wholesale gas market may have been manipulated by the big power companies.
Glenis Willmott said: “For some time there has been suspicion of an extensive cartel culture of market rigging and price fixing in the commodities markets.
“Following the recent evidence from a whistleblower, it’s clear that action must be taken in the UK. However, as UK gas is the benchmark for gas traded at EU level, Labour MEPs will be asking the European Commission to take urgent action on cartels and price-fixing and introduce tough rules on the setting of benchmarks and indices in the commodities markets.”
Glenis Willmott said: “These claims about market abuse and manipulation in gas prices come at a time when over 18% (almost one in five) families across the East Midlands are facing fuel poverty.
“In some parts of the region, the figure is closer to one in four families. For example Derbyshire Dales has 24.3%, Louth & Horncastle 23.5%, Boston & Skegness 23.5% and Nottingham East 23.4%. In Leicester, over 20% of families are affected, and even in the better off parts of the region around one in every six families face fuel poverty.”
“Customers are facing huge price rises and many are suffering. According to recent research, there are currently more than 6.6 million households across the UK who cannot afford to heat their homes, putting them at risk of serious health problems.”