Labour plans to take over Britain's energy network without paying full price – costing the owners billions

LABOUR were today accused of a plot to steal billions of pounds by taking over energy firms without paying the owners.

The party is planning to nationalise the companies that run the electricity and gas networks at a cut price, leaked documents reveal.

But critics claimed the idea would suck money out of pension funds and undermine Britain's economy.

A document leaked to the Financial Times shows if Labour takes power, it would move quickly to nationalise the country's energy networks.

That would mean taking the companies that provide power cables and gas pipelines into state hands.

Shareholders would be paid – but they would get less than the companies' £64billion market value.

Labour would lower the price tag to take account of "asset stripping" and Government subsidies to the firms.

The party says: "Private ownership of energy networks has led to excess profiteering at the expense of investment in infrastructure."

Power companies say nationalisation would cost taxpayers billions and reduce investment in the energy network.

SSE said: "Aside from extensive disruption, paying for state ownership and control of energy networks would require full compensation for owners at great expense to taxpayers, or risk destabilising UK listed utilities."

Billions of pounds of energy shares are held by pensions funds which are in turn owned by ordinary Brits.

Tory MP Neil O'Brien blasted: "Labour's plan to literally steal from pensioners is OUTRAGEOUS.

"Stealing shares from people's pension funds & not paying them the full value would punch a huge hole in pensioners' incomes.

"It's shocking – & this is only what they admit BEFORE an election!"

Labour did not respond to a request for comment.

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