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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2021

Big Energy piles on the misery

  (Click to enlarge)

Energy regulator Ofgem has raised the price cap on what gas and electricity companies can charge 15 million households by between £87 and £96 a year (£1,156 or £1,138) - a 9% increase - from 1 April. The price cap is the maximum energy companies can charge consumers.

This sizeable price rise comes at a time when many households' incomes have been pummelled by the effects of the pandemic, including wage and job cuts.

It also will hit poor households at exactly the same time as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning to claw back the £20 pandemic increase in Universal Credit. Before the pandemic hit us, 'fuel poverty' was already affecting over 10% of households in the UK.

Industry-friendly Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley blithely told customers that "if they want to avoid the increase in April they should shop around for a cheaper deal".

But £23 of this increase is energy companies clawing back costs incurred from unpaid consumer bills.

Energy companies are also accused of passing on to consumers the Climate Change Levy - the government's environment tax - and the cost of installing smart meters (even though companies save administration costs).

The nationalisation of 'big energy', which could mean clean energy generation and lower household fuel bills, is long overdue.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 10 February 2021:


News

Tories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

Question mark over AstraZeneca's vaccine to protect against new Covid variant

Big Energy piles on the misery

News in brief


Racism

Black Workers' Charter: A programme to fight racism


Grenfell

Grenfell: Are we any closer to justice?


TUSC

TUSC online conference: Preparing to build a working-class force for the local elections in May

Ex-Labour socialists preparing to stand for TUSC in Devon


Workplace news

Striking British Gas workers fighting to win

PCS: Vote for rank-and-file socialist Broad Left Network candidates

Hackney schools workers to strike

York couriers call on council for protection from "fear of dismissal"

Court workers to ballot in fight for safety

NSSN meeting: Fight together against the Tories and bosses' Covid offensive


International news

Myanmar coup - For a workers-led struggle for democracy and socialism!

Turkey: Bogaziçi university students protest appointment of government loyalist as rector


Campaigns and party news

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a nurse

Why I joined the Socialist Party - a student

London fire victims lobby Tory mayoral candidate

Why you should come to Socialist Students online conference


Readers' opinion

Covid and pregnancy

Book that inspired me: God's bits of wood

Starmer ditches Labour movement tradition for cheap trick

The Socialist Inbox


 

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