Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has insisted his energy price freeze will have the “double benefit” of curbing inflation as he defended his decision to go on holiday during the cost of living crisis.
The Labour leader also accused the Conservatives of “walking past” the problem while they focus on electing a new leader.
Sir Keir has vowed his party “wouldn’t let people pay a penny more” on their gas and electricity bills this winter.
Under the plans Labour would halt price rises in October and January, saving the typical family £1,000 it says.
The “fully-funded” proposals would cost £29bn and be paid for partly by expanding the windfall tax imposed on oil and gas giants and backdating it to earlier this year.
The rest would come from the £14bn earmarked by the government for extra support to cover energy bill rises and £7bn saved in debt interest payments through reduced inflation.
The energy price cap, a ceiling on how much companies can charge, is currently set at £1,971 a year. However, it is expected to climb to almost £3,600 a year in October and over £4,200 in January.
The plan has been unveiled as the Tory leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak face calls to more than double the level of support offered to low-income families in order to avert a “catastrophe”.
Pressed on his proposals, Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The double benefit of this is that it also tackles the question of what are you going to do about inflation. “
In a swipe at claims that Boris Johnson is presiding over a ‘zombie’ government in No 10, he added: “We are not going to walk past this like the Tory party, we are actually going to do something”.
And he rejected criticism his plan was too late, saying he had asked his team to find a solution to the crisis almost two months ago.
Following photographs of him relaxing at the weekend, he said he was “not going to apologise” for going on holiday with his family. As well as his role as Labour leader he had another important job “as a dad,” he said.