SNP in cahoots with the Tories

The Scottish government is working hand in glove with the Conservatives in opposing measures to reduce the cost of energy bills.

Alex Salmond

Since the founding of the Better Together Campaign, the SNP has persistently taunted Labour for having got into bed with the Conservatives. When it comes to the cost of living, however, it seems the Scottish government is working hand in glove with the Conservatives in opposing measures to reduce the cost of energy bills for hard pressed families.

Questioned yesterday by Labour’s shadow finance secretary Iain Gray at Holyrood about whether the Scottish government would adopt a similar policy on energy prices as that announced by Ed Miliband, Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing took the side of the big energy firms.

Adopting similar heated rhetoric to that used by David Cameron et al, the minister declared during question time in the Scottish parliament:

“The record of regulators in the UK when one considers regulation of banking, the railway or payday loans isn’t one to boast about,” Mr Ewing said.

“Consumer experts have said that before this freeze comes in, the companies will whack the prices sky-high and companies may put off decisions to invest in new cleaner generation capacity.

“The industry, SSE and ScottishPower have said smaller companies would face insolvency and bigger companies would have to consider energy use and jobs.

“An arbitrary price freeze has been tried before in California in 2000, which led to blackouts and an increase in the wholesale price of 800 per cent.”

Leaving little room for doubt about where he stands, Ewing continued;

“As far as I can recall, never has a measure introduced by the leader of a major political party in the UK received such widespread, utter and total condemnation as being completely unworkable.”

His comments stand in contrast with those of his ministerial colleague, the Youth Employment minister Angela Constance, who has argued that Miliband’s energy price plan is “very well intended”. Polling conducted by YouGov for the Sunday Times last week found that 72 per cent of Scots support Labour’s energy price cap for 20 months.

Expressing his sadness that the SNP has opted to take the side of the big energy firms rather than hard pressed families, Iain Gray responded:

“I welcome the fact that the Scottish government has finally ended its silence on this key issue and picked a side. Sadly, the SNP has chosen the side of the big energy firms over hard-pressed families being hit with growing energy bills.

“Ed Miliband’s plan to freeze energy bills and reform the energy market was welcomed by families who will be dismayed that the SNP government has failed to match this pledge.

“Not only are the SNP refusing to support a price freeze, they have set their face against a regulator with the power to control prices in the long run.”

Addressing the wider implications on energy supplies and regulation if Scotland voted for independent, Gray continued:

“Fergus Ewing spoke today for the energy companies and against the Scottish consumer. Fergus Ewing’s answer also means that the SNP plan to break up the single integrated British energy market.

“That means the costs of supporting renewable electricity and new grid infrastructure may well end up on Scottish bills instead of being shared across the whole of Britain. This is a double whammy in their energy bills for Scottish families.

“The message is clear – a Yes vote in the referendum is a vote for higher energy prices, and for an SNP on the side of big business not the consumer.”

8 Responses to “SNP in cahoots with the Tories”

  1. Annoyedfaefife

    What a load of sh*te. A yes vote is for independence, doesn’t mean an snp government. More political spin (lies) is not what’s needed.

  2. Selohesra

    Just because SNP & Tories both recognise that Ed is economically illierate does not mean they are in cahoots – I suspect they have more areas of disagreement than agreement. Why isn’t Ed going to fix price of petrol at 50p per gallon – if fixing prices is such a winner surely that would be good idea?

  3. Jake Church

    Rubbish, typical NO garbage to smear the SNP who are giving us a chance to run our own country and finances from here for the benefit of Scotland instead of being sucked into that bloated disgusting pile of shit… the city of London SOAR ALBA GU BRATH

  4. Chrisso

    Ed Jacobs you are a very silly man. Not a serious journo. ‘SNP and Tories in cahoots’ mon? Don’t give up the day job.

  5. treborc1

    No fees for prescriptions no university fees, and free bus passes all things Labour would remove, and you think the SNP is in league with the Tories, nope sorry your talking about the wrong party and energy prices should have been sorted under Labour , whoops who was the minister then.

  6. WanderingScot

    The article conflates two different economies, two different energy markets, and two different philosophies to do with the future of energy supply.

    Without writing an essay, suffice to say that in Scotland with emerging leadership in renewable energy generation, the need is for independent government to regulate well to protect the householder while encouraging the ongoing flow of massive investments being made in renewable energy production.

    In the UK, the problem is that incompetent governments, of both major kind, have screwed up on failing to plan and prepare adequate future energy supply. The need there is to protect the householder against exploitation of scarcity to drive up energy company prices.

    Price freezes are good voter bait, stop gap and turn counterproductive if maintained for long.

  7. Linsey Young

    You fall in to the age old trap of tribal politics. If anyone is in cahoots with the tories it is successive leadership cliques of the Labour party. Who introduced the bedroom tax? Not the SNP, that would be Labour. Who continued the scandal of PFI? Not the SNP, again that would be Labour. Time and again Labour have merely been a tory party in red ties while the SNP have consistently proven themselves to be the most left wing major party operating in the UK over the last years. What’s more they are competent and popular with the electorate. Instead of criticising them you would be better employed learning from them.

  8. franwhi

    Better Together Lab, liberal and conservative – now there’s the mother of all CAHOOTS

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