The Conservatives have pledged to put an end to the “rip off” of rising energy bills by imposing a cap on certain tariffs.

The plan, to be laid out in the Conservative manifesto for the upcoming general election, takes heavy inspiration from a pledge in Labour’s 2015 manifesto, which Theresa May and the Conservative party and right-wing tabloids dismissed as ‘1970s socialism”. At the time, the Tories accused Labour of trying to interfere with the free market.

Now, the prime minister concedes that the energy market was “not working” and will set out plans for an “absolute price cap” on standard variable tariffs in the party’s manifesto after a government-backed study found British customers paid £1.4bn a year in “excessive prices”.

According to trade association Energy UK, while the wholesale cost of gas and electricity have fallen as a percentage of bills over the last decade, bills have risen due to increases in operational and network costs.

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