RYE Labour candidate Sarah Owen has slammed MP Amber Rudd for voting against an energy bill freeze.
Ms Rudd hit back by claiming the proposed energy freeze was ‘a con’.
She said the way to reduce bills was to get more supply and greater competition between suppliers.
Sarah Owen said: “Following the massive price hikes announced by some UK energy companies, Labour has held a vote in parliament that proposed to force these companies to freeze their bills before the cold weather sets in.”
Since May 2010 gas and electricity bills have gone up by £300 for the average household and Sarah says consumers and local businesses deserve a fairer deal.
She added: “Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017, saving an average business £1,800 a year, and a typical family £120.
“In parliament on November 6 Amber Rudd voted against Labour’s proposal to force energy companies to freeze their prices.
“ While residents and businesses struggle will energy costs, Ms Rudd’s has claimed hundreds of pounds from taxpayers to pay energy bills for her second home.
“When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on, but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall.
“A bill freeze would help families in Hastings and St Leonards who are facing rising costs and it would encourage the industry to be fairer to its customers.
“Many people have told me how worried that poor winter weather will lead them to choose between heating their homes or buying food. Residents and businesses need help now.
“Amber Rudd had an opportunity to make a real difference to constituents and to freeze our bills before the cold snap hits – David Cameron let down people who are genuinely struggling by failing to stand up to the energy giants who are ripping the majority of us off.”
Ms Rudd responded: ““Ed Miliband’s so called energy freeze is a con.
“The way to reduce energy costs is to increase supply and get more companies involved.
“ It is a disgrace that under Labour the number of energy companies fell , there was a shocking lack of investment, and energy prices soared – all while Ed Miliband was Energy Secretary.
“We need to be frank about how to get the bills down – investment, regulation and choice. Not the sort of misleading con by the Labour party.”
Local businessman Peter Boggis said: “We use a lot of energy and are really holding on by our finger nails. The energy companies’ price rises seem out of control. We fully support Sarah’s campaign to freeze energy bills.”
Temperatures were set to fall this week and long-range weather forecasts indicate that we could be facing the severest winter for many years with heavy snow forecast and arctic temperatures.