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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2013

SSE: So Sodding Expensive!

John Sharpe

An estimated 7,000 pensioners died between December 2011 and March 2012 because their homes were too cold. 6.7% of the population live in fuel poverty - up 50% since 2010.

Meanwhile ten million SSE customers face an average 8.2% rise in their fuel bills - three times the rate of inflation. And this follows 9% last year. The rise in the South East is 9.7%.

Average fuel bills could hit 1,465. In 2004 the average was just 525. This is against a background of pay cuts, pay freezes and benefit cuts.

"We're sorry" said SSE's boss Will Morris.

SSE recently reported profits of 1.4 billion, up 5.6% on last year. 515 million was paid out in dividends and SSE has repeated its promise of an above inflation rise in dividends this year.

Three top directors at the company received more than 6 million in pay and perks last year, including 2.6 million to chief executive Ian Marchant. He recently stepped down with a 10.4 million pension and 4.8 million in shares.

Earlier this year SSE was ordered to pay 10.5 million by regulator Ofgem for conning customers into thinking they were on the cheapest tariffs.

"I'm disappointed" says government minister Michael Fallon. His advice: "Change supplier." So, as expected, nothing to do with me guv, you're responsible. Isn't every commentator predicting the other companies will do the same?

SSE has blamed "green taxes". But that accounts for less than a fifth of the rise and most of that goes to help poorer families with insulation according to Lord Green who wrote the review of climate change economics.

The government is about to announce a long-term price support deal for EDF's planned Hinkley C nuclear power station.

The price is reported to be roughly double the current market rate for electricity, and is locked in for 35 years.

We're 'sorry' and 'disappointed' too. But not half as sorry and disappointed as these gangsters will be when the whole of the energy industry is democratically nationalised.

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In The Socialist 16 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories' rags and riches Britain; Join the socialist fightback!

Teachers, firefighters, workers fighting back: Unite the strikes!

TUSC: 2014 local elections campaign launched

Immigration Bill: Whipping up racism to cut our services

Council tax benefit cuts hit hard

SSE: So Sodding Expensive!

Fight Tory plans to scrap lifeline for young

Jobcentre staff struggling to cope

'Help to Buy' no solution to housing crisis

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Robinson drops EDL but not his bigotry

Trade union-led anti-racist demo in Liverpool

Bradford anti-EDL protest


Education feature

Why are our schools in crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Workers and youth re-assert their political voice in South Africa

Sri Lanka - 'No to Chogm' campaign

Refugees perish in Mediterranean "cemetery"


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join the party for the millions - not the millionaires

Socialism 2013 appeal

Save Kent's children's centres


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation officers to take on 'failing Grayling'

Time for national action on education

Fight the Royal Mail sell-off

Blacklisting victory - now build union strength

Workplace news In Brief


 

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