MPs angry at 'energy profiteering'

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A number of MPs are calling for energy providers to face a windfall tax, according to reports.

Labour MPs are hoping that the publication of British Gas's profits next month will persuade Gordon Brown to introduce the windfall tax, following repeated claims that energy firms have been "profiteering" throughout the winter months by not reducing prices in line with wholesale cost reductions, reports the Daily Express.

The price of a barrel of oil has dropped from £70 to £32 over the last year, while average UK household energy bills increased by 42 per cent.

Gavin Hayes, general secretary of the independent left pressure group Compass group, told the newspaper there is "a huge amount of anger about energy bills" among back bench MPs.

He added: "We have seen a massive fall in the price of oil, yet the energy firms are refusing to pass those reductions on to customers at the time people need it most.

"There is a real suspicion that profiteering is taking place and many Labour MPs want to see action taken in the Budget."

Ed Mayo, the chief executive of Consumer Focus, recently said that Ofgem must make reducing consumer bills its priority.

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