Category Archives: Energy

Tory Britain: we can’t afford to eat every day and we’re setting fire to our homes, trying to keep warm

Secret smile: Boris Johnson probably thinks it is very funny that his policies have made more than two million people unable to afford to eat every day, and that some people have set fire to their homes while trying to heat them by burning timber indoors.

You may wish to bookmark this article so you can send it to anyone who tries to tell you voting Conservative is a good idea.

Because more than 12 years of Conservative government has laid the once-great United Kingdom lower than it has been in decades – possibly more than a century.

More than two million people – one in every seven adults – can no longer afford to eat food every day:

More than 2 million adults in the UK have gone without food for a whole day over the past month because they cannot afford to eat

The latest survey of the nation’s food intake shows a 57% jump in the proportion of households cutting back on food or skipping meals over the first three months of this year, with one in seven adults (7.3 million) estimated to be food-insecure, up from 4.7 million in January.

And fire brigades are now overworked dealing with blazes in houses where people started burning timber in open fires because they could not afford the cost of central heating any more:

A man in south-west London set fire to his property by burning timber in his living room to keep warm.

The man was trying to avoid putting on the central heating in his home, fire investigators said.

Fuel poverty campaigners said the incident – one of at least 100 involving open fires, log burners and heaters in the capital in the last few months – laid bare “the harsh and dangerous reality of the cost-of-living crisis”.

Some might say that they don’t care; these incidents involve other people. It’s very easy to throw shade on others by saying they are unable to keep their finances in order.

But the Tory cost-of-living crisis affects us all.

Food costs more because of Brexit-related supply issues; housing costs more because the banks have increased interest rates, meaning mortgages and rents are going up; heating costs more because of the shortage of gas created last winter and accelerated by the Russia-Ukraine war; we are paying more tax to the Tory government than any UK population in more than 40 years.

Only people who are extremely rich can afford to blame others for being unable to stay warm or feed themselves in these circumstances. If you’re on a normal wage, you’ll feel the pinch soon enough.

And it’s all due to Conservative economic incompetence – sold to you with a lie that they knew what they were doing.

Or was it a lie? How much worse would you find it if this enforced starvation and these house fires were intended to happen by Boris Johnson and his party?

Source: More than 2m adults in UK cannot afford to eat every day, survey finds | Food poverty | The Guardian

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If your energy bill direct debit has doubled or tripled, here’s Martin Lewis’s advice

Martin Lewis: the ‘Money Saving Expert’ has advice that could save you hundreds of pounds if your energy supplier is overcharging you.

It seems some energy firms are playing fast and loose with customers on direct debit, with price hikes of up to 250 per cent.

So take a hard look at what your energy firm is charging you.

It seems some of them are trying to boost their own bank balances in advance of another expected price hike in October – in effect, relieving their own cash flow problems by inflicting them on you.

But it could lead to a fine of up to one-tenth of a company’s turnover if it is caught.

‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis has given advice on this, warning that there are some circumstances in which higher bill increases may be allowed.

But if you are in credit and “on the price cap”, and seeing a bill increase of more than 54 per cent, then you should call up the companies – politely – and dispute the new bill by asking them to justify the hike.

This would not be a “negotiation” as there is a legal requirement for your direct debit to be fair.

If the firm refuses to reduce the bill, then you should announce that you will take the matter to the Ombudsman. This will cost the energy company money.

Source: Martin Lewis’ urgent advice to anyone who uses direct debit to pay for their energy bills

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Nobody needs a plan to discredit Rishi Sunak – they only have to quote his record

Campaign to discredit: is Kwasi Kwarteng trying to destroy Rishi Sunak? Or does the Chancellor deserve all the criticism he receives after raising our taxes but (allegedly) avoiding paying his own while his wife did the same?

Rishi Sunak is trying to curry sympathy from the public by pretending that somebody has launched a campaign to discredit him by linking him with the way his wife avoids paying UK tax.

He is – as in so many of his political choices – completely wrong.

Nobody needs to use his wife to discredit Sunak – they only need to look at his own decisions:

  1. He vetoed a plan to save the poorest families from soaring energy bills, according to a government leak.

Three options were put forward: increasing the £200 loan payment for all households (to be paid in the autumn) to “£500 or more”, either for all households or for the poorest; delaying repayment of the £200, which the Treasury is saying must be repaid at the rate of £40 a year over the following five years; or exempting the poorest homes from the need to repay at all, turning the loan into a grant.

Sunak apparently refused to consider any of these options, which are said to have come from Kwasi Kwarteng’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department. If he really does think fellow members of the government are briefing the press against him, then Kwarteng seems a likely candidate for suspicion.

2. He blocked plans to reduce millions of energy bills by making homes more energy efficient, according to another government leak.

It seems both Downing Street and Kwarteng’s team were hoping for an expansion of the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) scheme to be included in this week’s energy security strategy, with £200 million extra per year meaning the scheme could be expanded beyond only those receiving benefits to thousands more people.

Sunak apparently rejected the ideas because he is sticking to pledges he made in autumn 2021 – even though inflation means his tax take is around two-and-a-half times what he expected to make from those proposals and he is entirely capable of doing as suggested.

3. He has benefited from his non-dom wife’s ability to avoid paying UK tax while increasing the tax burden on the rest of us to its highest level since World War 2.

As Akshata Murthy’s husband, Sunak shares his household with her and must, therefore, enjoy some of the benefits of her income. As a non-dom living in the UK, she has been able to avoid paying an estimated £2.1 million per year.

Sunak himself is said to have held a US Green Card, which allows people to live and work permanently in the United States but demands that he pay US tax on his worldwide income, until October last year – long after he became Chancellor in 2020 – meaning he may have avoided paying UK tax for the more-than-four years between that date and his joining the government in 2017.

Meanwhile, by freezing the thresholds at which people move into different tax bands, Sunak has ensured that more people are paying Income Tax at higher rates; he has also introduced a 10 per cent increase in National Insurance payments. The tax burden on UK citizens who have no choice other than to pay up is now at its highest level since the mid-1940s.

It’s a filthy record; it reads more like a charge sheet than a history of achievements.

But Rishi Rich still wants you to believe he and his wife are being smeared by malicious colleagues.

Isn’t it more accurate to say that the skeletons in his closet are coming to light at last?

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Boris Johnson said he would take control of energy prices. Another lie?

Duper’s delight yet again: was this the look on Boris Johnson’s face when he announced his new energy strategy that won’t reduce your bill or help you in any way at all?

Boris Johnson has short-changed the people of the United Kingdom yet again with his hopeless “energy strategy”.

I put the words “energy strategy” in quotation marks above because very little of it makes strategic sense and neither is it in any way energetic.

How is building hugely expensive and polluting nuclear power stations, that won’t be ready until 2050, going to reduce my energy bill today? It isn’t.

How is building offshore wind farms by 2030 going to reduce my energy bill today? It isn’t.

And when is Johnson going to order the privatised energy firms to cut their bills? Never.

That’s right – never.

If he had any intention of helping reduce your bills, his “strategy” would have started with a plan to insulate everybody’s home so that we wouldn’t have to use as much electricity and gas as we do now.

We’re told the Treasury has blocked such ideas but if Johnson really wanted to help us, he would have told Rishi Rich where to stuff his objections.

The fact is that, by his inaction, Johnson has condemned us to endure high energy costs for years, if not decades, to come. It’s what he wants.

It makes a nonsense of his claim that “we’re setting out bold plans to scale up and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy made in Britain, for Britain… so we can enjoy greater energy self-sufficiency with cheaper bills.”

The people of the UK need cheaper bills now, not in 10 or 20 years time when other costs will have increased, when the energy company executives have become even more greedy and therefore when it won’t make a scrap of difference.

And why is nobody mentioning the elephant in the room – that if Johnson re-nationalised the energy firms, he could wipe away the unnecessary costs of making profits for their (mostly foreign) shareholders at a stroke?

For all the hot air he has spouted, Johnson isn’t helping you at all. He’s helping himself and his fatcat friends with a grotesque lie.

Source: PM promises to take back control of energy costs in long-awaited strategy | Evening Standard

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Boris Johnson’s energy strategy: Chernobyl, UK?

Nuclear powerhouse? The future safety of the UK is in the hands of a man who probably needed help tying his own shoelaces before this image was taken.

Don’t be fooled when Boris Johnson says 95 per cent of electricity will be from low-carbon sources in the future. A quarter of it will be churning out highly-radioactive nuclear waste that he will probably hide in the sea, hugely polluting our waters.

Nuclear waste remains deadly to human beings for thousands of years, of course.

Johnson wants to commission eight new nuclear stations by the end of the decade, but they won’t be up and running until 2050, meaning they’ll do absolutely nothing to reduce your energy bills.

Furthermore, they will increase the UK’s vulnerability to nuclear accidents. Chernobyl happened in 1986 when the area became a deadly radiation danger. The irregularly-shaped exclusion zone, extending roughly 30km in all directions from the plant, will remain uninhabitable for 20,000 years.

Chernobyl was triggered by a botched safety test. The Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Japan, was caused by a natural event – the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011. warnings about the effects of earthquakes and tsunamis had been ignored.

The reactors at that plant were clad in concrete shielding, meaning the amount of radiation released has been much lower – but an area extending 20km from Fukushima will remain uninhabitable for 100 years after the disaster.

Now imagine what such a disaster would do to the United Kingdom – and remember that the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters were caused by mistakes made by experts, while the current UK strategy is spearheaded by a stupid politician who probably needs help to tie his own shoelaces.

Oh, and Johnson is telling us the newly-announced nuclear stations will help end – forever – the UK’s reliance on energy from foreign powers who could use it to blackmail us, right?

But the Hinkley Point C plant, currently under construction in Somerset, is owned by EDF Energy, which itself is wholly-owned by… the government of France. Also involved in financing and constructing the project is the China General Nuclear Power Group, which is itself wholly owned by… the government of China. So much for ending the UK’s reliance on energy from foreign powers.

Who do you think will win the contract to build these eight new plants?

Ultimately, you need to remember that this sparkly (glowing, you might say) radioactive plan will not save you money and may cost the UK dearly in the future. It will not save a penny from your energy bills.

Once again, Boris Johnson has been talking – well, it’s worse than bullshit, isn’t it? He’s spewing radioactive waste.

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Tory energy idiocy: they want scientists to say fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes

Kwasi Kwarteng: he’s not interested in providing cheaper energy for you – he wants to make money for rich people at your expense.

Tory business twit Kwasi Kwarteng has commissioned the British Geological Survey to produce a new report on the impact of fracking – hoping evidence that it causes earthquakes will magically go away.

Kwarteng says he wants to find new ways of supplying the UK’s energy needs after prices skyrocketed due to a squeeze on the amount of gas available – worsened by the boycott on Russian gas triggered by that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

But rather than switch to wholly renewable and green domestic energy generation, he is turning to a calamitous strategy that will fill the country with nuclear waste and earthquakes that will cause massive property damage.

Potentially.

Fracking has been tried in the UK – near Blackpool – but was stopped because it triggered 17 earthquakes over a nine-day period, culminating in a “red event” that forced a halt in operations. The tremors were recorded by the British Geological Survey.

The Tories suspended fracking as an energy-generation policy in the run-up to the 2019 general election and in summer 2020 Kwarteng himself said the government had moved on: “We’ve always said we’d be evidence-backed so if there was a time when the science evidence changed our minds we would be open to that. But for now, fracking is over.”

Now the same goon wants to bring fracking back.

We’re all familiar with the process he’s using: pay an organisation to write a report that says what the commissioner wants it to say (in this case, that the earthquakes that closed the Lancashire fracking down didn’t happen).

It will be fascinating – not to say highly hypocritical – if the British Geological Survey’s report ends up saying this, as it was the same organisation that recorded the earthquakes and shut fracking down.

And let’s remember the real motivation for this new push towards fracking: MONEY.

The Tories know that fracking will make money for rich people like them.

They don’t care that it will cause earthquakes that may cause millions of pounds worth of harm to property belonging to poorer people because it means those people will have to pay other rich people to have it corrected – if possible.

And if it can’t be corrected – who cares? The people affected don’t matter – right?

Kwarteng himself has said that “fracking in England would take years of exploration and development before commercial quantities of gas could be produced for the market, and would certainly have no effect on prices in the near term”. So why bother with it, then?

Put the evidence together and it seems clear that this is an expensive waste of time. The effort should be put into efficient renewables that can be put into service quickly.

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Check your direct debits to energy companies, warns Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis: last time I used this image, a reader said he never attaches his image to advertising so the story must be fake news. Let’s not have any of that silliness this time, please!

Energy firms are increasing customers’ direct debits by more than the 54 per cent cap imposed by Ofgem, according to ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis.

He’s saying – well, see for yourself (this version of the clip by the Mirror):

There is no point having a price cap imposed by a regulator if the regulator won’t enforce it.

So, come on – check your direct debits and, if you’re being charged more than 54 per cent extra, contact Ofgem.

And come on, Ofgem.

Let’s see some hefty prosecutions.

Source: Martin Lewis urges MPs to crack down on worrying trick used by energy companies

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Is this the new Tory energy policy – going cap in hand to tyrants?

Begging bowl already loaded: this is actually a stock shot to illustrate Boris Johnson’s junket around the world, trying to chum up with foreign dictators in return for cheap oil. But what does he have to offer in return?

Boris Johnson’s decision to traipse around the world’s dictators with his begging bowl in hand has been mocked harshly by MPs in the UK’s Parliament.

He is currently in Saudi Arabia to sign a business deal with the government there, days after it carried out the largest mass execution of civilians in modern history – 81 people including seven people from neighbouring Yemen, with whom the Saudis are at war.

Called out over it by Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner during (Deputy) Prime Minister’s Questions, Dominic Raab had no answer other than a complete non-sequitur about the Salisbury Poisoning of 2018 and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He was upbraided by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for harking back to the past,

And his claim wasn’t even accurate!

None of his bluster cut any ice with MPs, though – as a subsequent question by Alistair Carmichael showed:

And it struck a jarring contrast with Raab’s own words about the “despotic regime” in Iran that has just released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years.

After Ms Rayner welcomed the development – and asked for an inquiry to determine whether Johnson’s “lazy words” in 2018 had lengthened her prison term, Raab suggested she should not give “succour” to Iran:

What an odd thing to suggest about a dictatorship that only released her because his government had finally paid a decades-old £400 million debt in order to gain access to that “despotic regime” and its oil!

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Left-wing campaigner rejects Sunak’s energy loan. Will you?

An old friend of This Site has written to Rishi Sunak, turning down the Chancellor’s attempt to foist a £200 loan on him to pay for increased energy bills.

Keith Lindsay-Cameron (remember him from A Letter A Day to Number 10, back when David Cameron was in Downing Street?) said he was perfectly capable of managing his own poverty without having more of it pushed on him.

His letter states: “With regards to the recent news that all customers of energy companies in England will be given a £200 loan from the Government to be repaid over following years.

“I would like to state that I do not want this loan. I have not asked for this loan. I do not wish my energy company to transfer the loan to my account, nor take repayments from my account in the future, and I shall be writing to them to this effect.

“I have several reasons for this decision.

“I do not want any debt imposed upon me that I have not asked or given my consent for.

“It is a certainty that prices will continue to rise, thus creating more hardship which this imposed loan will only exacerbate.

“My chosen route to pay for energy is up front payments via Pay As You Go, I do not consent to any sum of money being added to my account that leaves me in debt for several years. I manage my poverty perfectly well without being indebted by you.

“Your government has a bitter record of forcing us into debt and hardship, whilst throwing billions of pounds at banks and corporations, I want no part of the imposition of this loan on ordinary people.”

These are very good points.

Will you be writing to reject Sunak’s plan to impose debt on you for years to come while enriching the privatised energy giants that a previous Tory government created – many of which are at least partly-owned by foreign governments?

Alternatively, you could report Sunak to the Financial Conduct Authority as he seems to be misrepresenting his squalid little loan as a “rebate” or “discount”:

Or will you just lie back and let him strip you of more self-respect?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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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

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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