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Labour's energy price freeze would fund the employment of 1,000 new nurses, Ed Miliband said today, as he claimed Prime Minister David Cameron was not standing up for "ordinary families" when it comes to energy costs.
Labour have got their sums wrong over freezing energy bills, said the Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid, after Ed Miliband claimed that it would save the taxpayer more than £100 million for public services.
Mr Javid added: "Their policy would actually cost the public finances more in lost VAT and corporation tax, meaning more borrowing and more debt - exactly what got us into a mess in the first place.
"But Labour's price freeze is a price con - it would mean rising prices before, rising prices after, and even Ed Miliband says he would break his promise if there is a wholesale price rise during the freeze".
An energy price freeze would save the taxpayer more than £100 million in reduced bills for public services, Ed Miliband has said.
The Labour leader said £40 million would be cut from NHS costs, £28 million from schools and £21 million from defence if the move was implemented now by the Government and put a stop to an average 6.4% rise in bills.
Labour has pledged to freeze prices until 2017 if it wins the general election in May 2015 and use the time to reform competition and transparency in the energy market and introduce a tougher industry watchdog.
The Tories have dismissed the pledge as a "con", suggesting energy firms will simply push up prices in the run up to any freeze or immediately afterwards, wiping out any benefit.
Labour has published new figures which they say show that £100m key public services savings will be made if an energy prize freeze is introduced.
According to the information largely drawn from Parliamentary Questions by Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie:
- The NHS alone would save over £40m
- Schools would save £28m