Another Cameron lie: Energy companies’ profits are unaffected by his changes – and we still pay

Cost shock: Even the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph has been complaining about high energy prices - as demonstrated by this cartoon from 2012.

Cost shock: Even the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph has been complaining about high energy prices – as demonstrated by this cartoon from 2012.

To borrow a favourite David Cameron phrase: Let us be clear on this – any savings on your fuel bills as a result of the Coalition government’s policy change will be added to general taxation in another way and you will still pay.

Energy firms’ profits, which have tripled since 2010, will be unaffected. Cameron’s plan is akin to shifting deckchairs on the Titanic (to borrow another well-known saying).

Why on Earth does he think anybody is going to be deceived by this silliness?

Even with the changes in place, prices will still rise by an average of around £70, at a time when people were already being forced to choose between (let’s have yet another now-tired phrase) heating and eating. Average household incomes have dropped by nine per cent since David Cameron made himself Prime Minister by the back door three years ago.

Average pay for bosses of FTSE-100 companies has risen by 20 times the rate of pay growth for most workers, just in the last year. And let’s not forget that they were getting much higher than average pay already!

It should surprise nobody that all of the ‘Big Six’ energy firms are part of the FTSE-100 – or were, before foreign takeovers.

This means average pay for these companies’ bosses should be around £2,321,700, while profits have risen to £2 billion – up 75 per cent on last year (according to the Independent reports).

None of this will be changed by David Cameron’s measures, which were hastily cobbled together in a bungled bid to regain the initiative from Labour, whose plan to freeze energy prices and re-order the energy market has captured the public imagination.

Instead Cameron – who once campaigned under the slogan ‘Vote Blue – Go Green’ – will postpone green policy targets to a later date, cutting the so-called ‘green levy’ on the energy firms accordingly. This means the UK will be forced to rely on greenhouse gas-producing carbon fuels for longer.

Subsidies for people in fuel poverty will be moved into general taxation, meaning we pay for them rather than the energy firms who should.

“Even after these changes to levies, energy bills are still rising and the average household will still be paying £70 more for their energy than last winter,” said Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Caroline Flint. “Any help is better than none, but you can judge this Government by who they’re asking to pick up the tab – the taxpayer. The energy companies have got off scot-free.

“This shows why nothing less than a price freeze and action to reset the market to stop the energy companies overcharging again in the future will do.”

She was expected to tell the IPPR thinktank today: “If David Cameron and Nick Clegg think just doing what the energy companies ask of them is the answer to bills being too high, they are wrong.

“Energy bills have gone up by £120 this winter alone, so even with a £50 cut in levies, people’s bills will still be higher this winter than last year. The real reason bills are rising year on year without justification is because the energy market is broken.

“Instead of bailing out the energy companies, David Cameron should stand up to them and stop them overcharging people.”

But we all know that David Cameron never stands up to his corporate masters, don’t we?

(Vox Political‘s Mike Sivier will be talking about the energy scandal, along with the continuing cover-up of DWP-related deaths on Sonia Poulton Live today. You can see it by visiting, starting at 5pm.)

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20 thoughts on “Another Cameron lie: Energy companies’ profits are unaffected by his changes – and we still pay

  1. Pingback: Another Cameron lie: Energy companies’ profits are unaffected by his changes – and we still pay | nearlydead

  2. Pingback: Another Cameron lie: Energy companies’ profits are unaffected by his changes – and we still pay | Jay's Journal

  3. jaypot2012

    Reblogged on Jay’s Journal and commented:
    This dipstick of a PM hasn’t got the balls he was born with. He’s alright though as are his rich pals.
    He is doing nothing for the poor and elderly, nor anyone below rich people in the UK – as usual!!

  4. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Not only will Cameron’s planned removal of the ‘green tax’ not make any difference to the size of the energy bills, but it is also another example of the way Cameron cynically adopted left-wing policies in order to appear electable over this last decade. Mike has already mentioned how Cameron tried to position himself as a ‘Green’ prime minister with this slogan ‘Vote Blue – Go Green’. I can also remember how, right at the beginning of his administration, he was boasting that his would be ‘the greenest government yet’. Well, so it might be, but that’s from the foetid miasma of corruption coming up from it. But his commitment to the green tax is just one of the policies he cynically adopted, only to reject when convenient. Remember when he was promising that the Tories would no longer support policies aimed at providing for people who wanted to move out of state education and healthcare, and that he would no longer support the return of the grammar schools? Well, not only has gone back on that policy, he’s positively run over it and then jumped on the bits to make sure it’s properly dead. If he was like Pinocchio and his nose grew every time he told a lie, by now it would reach halfway to Newfoundland and be condemned by the UN as a hazard to shipping. Mike Yarwood once made a joke about how ‘lies’ translated into political jargon as ‘election promises’. Well, Yarwood’s a died in the wool Tory, but never has that comment been so correct about a politico as it has about Cameron. I’m starting to think that maybe, in Private Eye or Have I Got News for You or the News Quiz, they should have a ‘Liar of the Week’ competition, to see which politician has now told the most porkies. Will it be Cameron, Clegg or IDS? And if IDS carries on telling more porkies about himself, I suggest he be nicknamed ‘Matilda’ as he really does make you gasp and stretch your eyes with magnitude of his falsehoods.

  5. Thomas M

    The sooner this government goes the better. I’d nationalize the energy companies again, because they have formed a cartel. With most items, the market sorts things out, but with these big companies there is little or no choice. Making the taxpayer pay will just divide rich, middle class and poor against each other.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I absolutely loved doing that interview!

      Looking forward to the next one.

      Trouble is (for me) – I haven’t actually seen it and would like to. Hopefully they’ll put it up on YouTube, as some people have suggested, so I can indulge my enormous ego. 😉

  6. Leslie Atkins

    what the hell is £50 a year going to make on near to £1,700 a year gas & electric bill.its 15 pence a day 8p for gas and 7p for electric,be better off buying half a dozen candles get more light and warmth,well boris is in the right partywhat a bunch of clowns

  7. Sasson Hann

    In the Guardian article about it Mike yesterday it also stated that besides paying for this supposed fuel rise cut out of general taxation Osborne is also considering further cuts to benefits to fund this ‘cut’, which is disgraceful.

    I like many others qualified for the £135 off my bill this year, but it seems the energy companies all along knew they would claw this back one way or another: an empty gesture indeed!

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this was all managed between the government and the energy companies in the first place. You know the ruse: a preposterous action is announced, then later it seems like they back down, though the end result is that you’re still worse off but you are ‘so’ relieved that the original policy wasn’t implemented and they’re still laughing all the way to the bank.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That seems likely to me.

      I didn’t see the Guardian article until several hours after my own went up. I do wonder if all of this material will see daylight in the Boy’s speech on Thursday, or if some of it is speculation. Maybe that’s the optimist in me. We’ll see.

  8. Smiling Carcass

    I am in agreement with Thomas M- renationalise.

    I also think that if we need- and we do, because fossil fuel is finite- to ‘go green’ then building huge wind farms is not the way; I believe that government should pay for or subsidise each household to have a wind generator and solar panels and perhaps even generators that run on renewable fuels, such as vegetable oil.

    Of course, no government is likely to do this while the energy companies are privately owned.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Of course not – because they would end up paying the householders for the energy being put back into the grid and it would be the energy firms’ profits that went up in smoke, rather than the environment (see what I did there?) – this is probably why 70 per cent of the UK wants energy renationalised. We can all see that they do not work in our best interests – and certainly not the national interest.

      1. Mike Sivier

        The poverty line is a changeable yardstick, as well – because more people are earning less, the poverty threshold is lower than it was before the Coalition came into office. They are fiddling the figures for all they’re worth while Britain (figuratively) burns. That’s a metaphorical reference to Nero, if anyone didn’t see it.

      2. Smiling Carcass

        If it was done there would be very little or perhaps no need for energy companies and therefore no need for a grid to put it back into. If we produced say, 40% of our energy needs from wind turbines and solar power (I’ve no idea what the real figure could be) and the other 60% from a generator running on a renewable fuel and all households were doing this, who’d be buying from a grid?

        Now, this would put an awful lot of folk out of work, but (and again, I can’t be sure the figures stack up) all those people could be employed on production and maintenance of our individual turbines, solar panels and generators and possibly a significant number of unemployed too.

        Maybe it’s a bit Utopian, not just because the energy companies and their government lackeys would fight it tooth and nail, but perhaps it is just impractical to achieve. However, I maintain our thinking must change if we wish to continue to enjoy the benefits an industrialised civilization affords us and this is just that- my thoughts.

        Doing nothing will see fossil fuels run out and with nothing practical in its place, we’ll have an awful lot of useless equipment!

  9. Karen M

    Cameron’s government have the “hardworking family” fixation in the new definition of fuel poverty: to be considered “fuel poor”, a household must spend more than the UK median on its energy bill – and that expenditure must push it below the poverty line. What about small households? Excluded again, thanks to confused and confusing policy. I detect another U turn in the offing.

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