Shane’s Shout: Energy and the UK

the-linc
the-linc

Worried about feeling cold this winter? Energy bills heading towards unaffordable? Let the 4.4 million homes in “fuel poverty” turn to senior executive Mark Owen-Lloyd at E.ON UK for some reassuring words about the months ahead; “It will make more money for us”

I’m sure Owen-Lloyd’s fire will burn hot as he tosses bundles of fifty-pound notes on top, keeping the embers glowing and his family toasty as he guffaws his way through a bottle of the finest brandy your money can buy. His contemptuous comments reflect the blasé ethos towards the general public and their real struggle to pay the bills. Recently, British Gas announced a 35% rise in profits and a 9% rise in electricity prices. This is unjustifiable. In the past decade, over 260,000 pensioners have died from cold-related illness. Many of these deaths are directly related to the increase in energy bills.

The Government have made steps in the right direction. They’ve just announced several measures aimed at tackling energy problems for households, such as free cavity wall and loft insulation for pensioners and the poor. But is this enough? Prices aren’t lower and we are staring at a recession. How many millions of people suffering at the hands of energy fat-cats will it take? Should individuals be allowed to make such obscene profits from a household necessity?

Nobody denies that energy prices are rising and therefore energy companies pay more for raw materials. But STILL they manage to increase profits further. There is now a very serious argument for nationalising the energy industry. The money spent by the consumer could be pumped back into communities. So many groups that benefited many people are being forced to close due to a lack of government funding, for example, ‘Phoenix Survivors’, an organisation that helped abused children. The only trouble is finding people with enough competence and integrity to head it up.

By Shane Croucher

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