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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2017

Energy bill hikes con: nationalise them now!

Nationalise the big six energy companies!

Nationalise the big six energy companies!   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Howlers are magical red letters which appear in the children's stories of Harry Potter. When the characters open these letters they get screamed at by the letter in mid-air.

If any letter howls at you, "I need to be nationalised!" as you open it, it's the dreaded energy bill which arrives on the doormat at the end of a cold, cruel winter.

Energy giant EDF, for example, will raise electricity prices by 8.4% this March. And regulator Ofgem says dual fuel prices rose 15% last year.

Any suppliers which hike their prices are pulling a fast one. Ofgem says they bought most of their gas and electricity 18 months ago, but in light of all the media stories of rising prices and the falling pound, they thought, 'what the hell, we'll cash in.'

Some intend to charge based on the price of energy sold today, not at the cost they bought it for 18 months ago. Of course, they bleat on about 'internal costs' and 'hostile climates', but essentially they see an opportunity to maximise profits. They take a rap over the knuckles from the regulator, at most pay a paltry fine, and carry on.

When energy was first privatised we were told that our ability to switcheroo and shop around would regulate the market. No such thing has happened.

In truth it's a cartel with rampant price fixing, small companies going bust and being swallowed up by the big six, with a regulator about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Energy is like water: it's essential for human life. It needs to be nationalised, democratically planned, with all incentives for profit removed. The Socialist Party fights for a socialist society, so the working class can all truly own and plan resources for everyone.

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In The Socialist 1 February 2017:


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