LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has accused Prime Minister David Cameron of going into a “panic” over energy prices, after Downing Street said people “may wish to consider” wrapping up warm at home to help keep their heating bills down.
“Their crime policy used to be ‘hug a hoodie’. Now their energy policy appears to be ‘wear a hoodie’,” Mr Miliband said.
But a No 10 spokesman insisted Mr Cameron was not seeking to tell people to put on a jumper when temperatures dropped.
The Labour leader, who has promised to freeze energy prices for 20 months if he wins the general election in 2015, said government advice to shop around for the best deal would not provide relief to consumers struggling with rising gas and electricity bills.
Mr Cameron yesterday said it was “disappointing” that British Gas had become the second of the Big Six energy companies to announce above-inflation price rises. And he added: “There is something everyone can do, which is look to switch their electricity or gas bill from one supplier to another.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey last night added his voice to calls for consumers to switch providers and take energy-saving measures to reduce their bills.
He added: “I’m sure people do wear jumpers – I wear jumpers at home.”
Asked if Mr Cameron agreed people could reduce their fuel bill by wrapping up warm, the Downing Street spokesman said: “That’s not a question that I have asked him.”
Mr Miliband said: “These responses show how little Mr Cameron and his government stand up for the interests of hard-working people. He has no grip on the cost of living crisis and he seems to think the solution is nothing to do with him.”
A No 10 spokesman later said: “To be clear, it is entirely false to suggest the Prime Minister would advise people they should wear jumpers to stay warm.”