Chancellor looks to 'maintain pressure' on energy suppliers

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer is looking at plans which will "maintain pressure" on energy companies to reduce bills, according to a UK newspaper.

Speaking to the Financial Times, an unnamed Westminster official has stated that Alistair Darling is considering the introduction of a new tax on profits recorded by gas and electricity providers.

In addition, it has been claimed that the chancellor is planning to specifically mention rising levels of fuel poverty in his Budget next month, although he is reportedly planning to hold back the introduction of a windfall tax as a last resort on the issue.

A government official told the newspaper that Mr Darling was not planning to "shut that option off completely" in the event that companies do not pass profits or windfall back to energy consumers voluntarily.

News on the issue has come after Ofgem announced plans to launch a probe into the condition of the energy market.

The organisation is to examine whether the sector is failing energy customers and has urged people with evidence of anti-competitive behaviour to come forward.

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