It comes amid reports that the Treasury has drawn up a multi-million pound package to help households with their rising energy bills. Under plans previewed in The Sunday Times, the chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is considering cutting the energy price cap by an extra £400.
However the new scheme would not be implemented fast enough to have any impact in October. There is also no guarantee that the two Tory leadership hopefuls, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, would take up this plan if they became prime minister.
Labour’s policy announcement comes after experts predicted that energy bills could soar to more than £5,000 by April next year, placing further pressure on already struggling households.
A Labour source told The Guardian the choice for the party was between targeted support to the most vulnerable or stopping the overall price energy price hike. “It seemed best to stop the rise happening in the first place,” said the senior insider.
Sir Keir has faced pressure in recent days over his perceived lack of action after former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown called on the government to implement “urgent measures” to cover further rises in fuel bills.
Mr Brown said prime minister Boris Johnson should unite with the foreign secretary Ms Truss and former chancellor Mr Sunak to prepare and agree on an emergency budget.
The former prime minister also spoke out on Good Morning Britain on Monday, where he claimed there is a “vacuum” at the centre of government which has stopped it from tackling the crisis.
He said: “There’s got to be someone in charge. And it’s not just that they’re asleep at the wheel – there’s nobody at the wheel at the moment.
“You’ve got Boris and his chancellor who have been on holiday, and then you’ve got the two leadership candidates on the campaign trail.
“What’s happening at the centre of Government is there is a vacuum and it’s got to be filled immediately if we’re going to protect people by October.”