Why is Rishi Sunak depriving the most vulnerable people of help with their energy bills?

Rishi Sunak: his job is to pretend to help you with loans that will bite you later, while attacking people who can’t fight back straight away.

Regulator Ofgem is raising the energy price cap by £693 this year in response to increasing wholesale gas prices, and the Tory government has acted – to protect the privatised energy firms’ profits.

The average bill will rise from £1,277 to £1,971.

In response, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the government will cushion the blow with a £200 rebate on electricity bills next year – but this is a loan; the Tories will expect us to pay it back later.

Sunak has made no comment on how he expects us to repay this money, once we are paying the full amount of these increased bills.

Isn’t it a contradictory move from a governing party that spent years telling us that austerity was needed because we should pay off a huge national debt immediately, rather than making people pay it in the future?

Sunak is also providing a £150 rebate on Council Tax bills for English properties in bands A to D.

But this won’t help people on benefits who receive Council Tax Support.

He’s providing £150 million for local authorities in England to help lower income households, along with £565 million for the devolved administrations in the rest of the UK.

This Writer has seen no information demonstrating how he reached this figure and/or knows that it will be enough.

Of course, working people will have to find the funds to meet a 10 per cent National Insurance increase from April, as well.

People on Universal Credit – which also includes working people, remember – are already struggling to cope with a cut of more than £1,000 per year.

The Bank of England has pushed interest rates up to 0.5 per cent, meaning mortgages and other debts will become more expensive.

Oh, and the threat of Russia invading Ukraine means we could face a further gas price shock if the supply from eastern Europe is disrupted.

There’s also the hidden cost increase that this price rise will create: businesses will face increased energy costs and we know from experience that, rather than absorb that cost and take lower profits, they’ll simply pass it on to customers in higher prices.

And this leads us back to the privatised energy firms themselves, and the elephant in this particular room.

Ever since gas and electricity were privatised, back in the bad old days of Thatcher, we have been paying extra in order to provide dividends to shareholders – many of which are now organisations belonging to foreign governments, allow me to remind you.

The logical choice when faced with a situation this bad would be to nationalise all these firms again.

Not only would it eliminate the requirement to provide dividends to shareholders (sending money out of the UK where it can’t do anybody living here any good) but it would also allow the government to set its own prices, relieving much more of the burden from customers.

A nationalised energy service would not feel the temptation to retain raised prices after wholesale costs come back down, as privatised, shareholder-run firms certainly would, and would be able to pass on that benefit to customers – phased to ensure the current high costs could be paid off.

This is anathema to the Tories and Labour opposes it too – because they are both now neoliberal parties that love privatisation and exist to serve the greed of the very rich.

So you get a cobbled-together, contradictory mishmash from Rishi Sunak that Labour has tried to counter by saying VAT on energy should have been scrapped.

That’s ridiculous because – as the Tories rightly pointed out – it helps the rich, who are easily able to fund the increased bills, as much as the poor; it doesn’t put all the help where it needs to go.

The fact that Labour even tried to suggest this as a serious alternative shows that it is not fit for government under Keir Starmer and his cronies.

Source: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off £200 discount to households | Energy bills | The Guardian

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2 thoughts on “Why is Rishi Sunak depriving the most vulnerable people of help with their energy bills?

  1. Martyn Meacham

    Those who can afford to pay the most, pay nothing! Those who cannot afford to pay, and are forced to choose between heat,or food are forced to pay, or suffer.The tories are criminals of the worst kind..taking from those who have less, or less than nothing, and hand over the money to their wealthy, tax evading business cronies. They belong in prison, not in Parliament! Their lies, deceit, fraud and corruption means they are not only criminals, but are committing treason against the people, and by extention, the queen, whose ‘subjects’ we are…

  2. alexkashko

    The French government made EDF take a £7BN pound hit by changing the price cap.

    It looks tp me like Sunak is making the poor in the UK subsidise EDF which is largely oiwned by the French government.

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