Gas Kapital – energy price hikes will fuel poverty and inflation

Here’s a radical idea for you Milibliar:

[The energy companies] should be nationalised, under users’ and workers’ control, and their profits used to bring down prices, improve services and invest in developing renewable energy.

Word is the govt is considering a windfall tax on the energy companies. Considering. Well, it’s a step in the right direction.

This is from the site of the Left Alternative (aka the SWP):

The cost of privatisation
31/07/2008

Centrica, the parent company that owns British Gas, has reported profits of £992 million for the first 6 months of this year. This comes the day after British Gas announced price hikes of 35% for consumers.

More than 16 million people will suffer from the biggest ever price hike by British Gas, along with a 9% increase in electricity bills. This is the second time British Gas has raised prices this year, with a 51% increase over the last 5 years.

In an attempt to “improve efficiency” and secure further profits, British Gas also cut 1,500 jobs, or 8% of its workforce.

The price increases mean millions more in Britain will be in fuel poverty. British Gas and Centrica defended the price hikes, saying the era of cheap energy is over.

Coming at a time when ordinary people are already struggling to pay increased petrol and food bills, pensioners and other poor and vulnerable consumers will be hardest hit.

This is an unacceptable state of affairs under a government that calls itself Labour. If the government were seriously interested in reducing inequality it could impose a windfall tax on energy companies, and use the money to protect everyone at risk from the price hikes.

Improving energy efficiency in the home is only part of the solution, but one that also costs hundreds or even thousands of pounds for individual households. The government could invest millions more in ensuring homes are energy efficient, by providing energy saving technologies free of charge for most people.

But most importantly it could start by re-nationalising British Gas. This would mean that basic necessities like gas and electricity, which everyone needs, would be provided as cheaply as possible. Currently the billions in profits go to a handful of individuals. Imagine what that money could do for greening every home in Britain and making fuel poverty a thing of the past.

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