Ed Miliband hits out at government's plans to reduce energy bills

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Labour leader Ed Miliband has proclaimed the coalition government's latest targets of cutting domestic energy bills by up to £50 a year are nothing more than 'smoke and mirrors'.

The government revealed plans for the saving involved spreading costs such as the insulation of homes into general taxation over a longer period rather than subsidies and a number of green policy targets would also be re-thought.

The government will reveal its plans in full on Thursday (Dec 5) during its Autumn Statement, however Mr Miliband believes it to be nothing more than a ploy.

He said: "A lot of people think that David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to catch up with One Nation Labour on the cost-of-living crisis: from payday lending to energy bills.

"But the truth is they are struggling to catch up with the British people who live at the sharp end of an economy where the link between the wealth of our nation and family finances has been broken. That is the cost-of-living crisis that is happening in our country today."

Labour has previously claimed it will look to freeze gas and energy bills for 20 months if it wins the next general election, although many of the country's leading electricity and gas suppliers, as well as the government itself, have claimed this is an unrealistic aim as the international cost of gas and other fuels is so unpredictable.

In a speech delivered at the VW National Training Centre in Milton Keynes, Mr Miliband added: "the Autumn Statement should not smoke and mirrors on electricity and gas bills or cosy deals with the ' Big Six' that mean bills still rise this winter, but a real price freeze and action to reset the market to stop them overcharging again in the future."

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