Where will you find an extra £2,000+ this year to cover the extra added to your gas and electric bill?

The answer for many will be: skip meals, send the kids to school in old uniform, go deeper into the red on the credit card. The question for more and more of us is: which bill can I get away with not paying this week?

But not everyone has to face this torment. The prices of life’s essentials are set to be rising at 18% annually by the end of the year. That extra cash is going somewhere, and it’s not going into our pockets! Instead, a small number of super-rich individuals – among them the owners of the big energy companies – continue to award themselves obscene pay packets and lavish dividends. BP made £11.9 billion in profit for the first half of this year, and Shell £17.3 billion.

The argument that privatised energy companies would compete to win customers, and in doing so drive down prices, seems like a very distasteful joke. And none of the half-baked ideas of the establishment politicians to deal with the crisis amount to anything more than bailing out the energy industry to the tune of billions – intending to make us pay for it later like they did with the banks.


Instead, nationalisation is needed, of the energy retailers and producers. And socialist nationalisation, with no compensation to the billionaire owners, and where workers and service users have democratic ownership and control over prices and investment.

As it stands, workers don’t have a mass party that argues for these measures as part of a broader set of socialist policies – the only way to save us from cost-of-living hell.

But we do have trade unions leading strikes and demanding real pay rises, showing the bosses that if we don’t go to work, they can’t make a profit. Imagine if those same trade unions established a new mass party, bringing together workers on strike and people fighting to bring down bills and raise pensions and benefits.

Such a party could put up a real challenge to the Tories and the bosses, take steps to seize the wealth of the billionaires, and use it to provide a decent income, and affordable, warm homes for all.