News that the Com Dem Coalition Government has quietly shelved plans for an independent inquiry into the £25 billion-a-year energy industry which has been subject to lengthy and repeated criticisms surrounding accusations of profiteering on electricity and gas, should come as no surprise to even the most impartial observers of the consequences of a warm relationship between the political parties within the Westminster village (and without) and the energy supply companies.
Interestingly enough, for sometime before the last Westminster general election, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats made repeated criticisms (and much political capital) from New Labour for its failure to tackle prices charged by the Big Six suppliers. Both the opposition parties publicly and repeatedly demanded an inquiry by the Competition Commission.
There was a hope that an inquiry into the nefarious activities of the energy supply cartel (sorry companies) might have had the power to reform the industry, encourage new entrants to break the hold of players such as British Gas and EDF on 99 per cent of the market and even possibly impose price caps. Yet, it appears that barely four months into the Coalition Government, there will be no inquiry has been called for and the Department of Energy and Climate Change confirmed on the 17th August that it has no plans to refer the industry to the Competition Commission.
Hmmm... perhaps there ought to be an inquiry into the dubious (and financial rewarding (in cash and kind) relationship between our political parties and the representatives of the energy supply companies who are keen to shower enough goodies around during Party conference season (and beyond) - perhaps not?