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A SOUTH Yorkshire MP has called on the Government to do more to help families and older people facing rocketing energy bills.

Speaking in a debate on energy prices in the House of Commons, Wentworth and Dearne Labour MP John Healey urged ministers to create ‘a system that requires much clearer and fairer pricing and regulation for consumers’.

He said: “The regulator, energy companies and, above all, the Government are failing consumers across the country.

“For many, high prices mean a choice between eating and heating and, in some cases, a choice between life and death, particularly in a harsh winter.”

Mr Healey said the Government was letting consumers down by allowing energy bills to go up 20 per cent in the past year.

He added the government was “out of touch” when it said the answer to high prices was for people to shop around.

Mr Healey said the system “penalised the poorest” and low users of energy while “benefiting the better-off” and those who used more.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said the Government would take action to make sure energy company tariffs are simplified and easier to understand, so people can make sure they are receiving the cheapest deal.

Mr Huhne said: “We have already got relatively good electricity and gas prices.

“We want people to check their tariffs, switch to cheaper tariffs and take advantage of the free offers there are to insulate their homes.”

The government aso plans to lobby companies about their prices.