Fight energy price hike
John Merrell, Leicester Socialist Party
The eleven million households on default energy tariffs will face a £139 price hike on their bills from October, £153 for the four million pre-payment meters. Two million energy customers are already behind on their bills, and six million fear being so.
Ofgem, the energy regulator, has given the green light for gas and electricity suppliers to increase their prices citing a rise in wholesale costs. After a worldwide economic shutdown in response to Covid-19, wholesale fuel prices fell. Now, as economies open up, they are rising again.
The energy price cap introduced in 2018 was supposed to stop energy companies ripping customers off. But the cap is now set at its highest ever level! One of Britain’s largest energy companies, British Gas has doubled its profits in the first half of this year, the same period in which they have attacked their workers, using ‘fire-and-rehire’. The price rise is simply profiteering at the public’s expense.
Private companies, like previously publicly owned British Gas, cannot be left to run the industry. The energy companies must be nationalised under democratic workers’ control and management, with compensation only to those proven to need it. Only then can energy prices and production be decided in the interests of the working class and environment rather than greedy bosses.
Meanwhile, the Tory government, representing the interests of the bosses, has announced plans for a carbon reduction scheme to push gas bills up further to try to incentivise heat pump installation.
The TUC conference convenes next month when furlough and the Universal Credit £20 per week uplift end, and many public sector workers face a ‘pay freeze’ in a period of rising inflation. The trade union leaders must reverse the Tory message of ‘make the workers pay’. Instead, put people before profits by adopting a fighting socialist programme to make the bosses pay!