Energy price freeze tops personal finance wishlist for British voters ahead of General Election

 
Jasper Jolly
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With inflation heating up consumers want an energy price freeze (Source: Getty)

A freeze on energy prices is the top personal finance priority for UK consumers after the General Election on 8 June, a new survey has revealed.

More than a fifth of the 6,000 Britons polled by Comparethemarket.com said action on stopping energy price rises should be a top priority for the next government.

An increase in personal tax allowances was the next-highest on the wishlist, with 18 per cent of respondents voting for it, while more state support for care costs came third.

Read more: May to offer energy price cap, but will it hit competition?

Action on energy prices has risen steadily up the agenda for the Conservatives as Prime Minister Theresa May has sought to emphasise support for working families.

Since the last General Election in 2015 price hikes by the so-called Big Six energy providers have contributed to a perception of worsening finances amongst consumers.

The survey found more than a third of people feel poorer than they did at the last election. Rising inflation caused by the uptick in oil prices and the devaluation of sterling threatens to add further pressure on real incomes as wages fail to keep up.

May has confirmed the Conservatives will act to cap energy prices if re-elected, although further details will only be revealed when the manifesto is published. Some members of her party are wary of intervention in markets, while the energy firms have claimed a freeze will harm competition.

Read more: Energy shares tumble after the Tories promise to cap prices

One of the options under consideration is a “relative price cap”, proposed by former minister John Penrose, which would limit the amount standard tariffs can rise.

Jesper With-Fogstrup, director at Comparethemarket.com, said: “The past two years has been a tricky time for energy customers, particularly those floundering on standard variable tariffs who have faced a series of price hikes from the Big Six and other providers.”

He added: “People are clearly worried by the cost of energy and any initiative which seeks to ease the burden of paying for gas and electricity will surely be welcomed by voters.”

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