Socialist Worker

Take the power from greedy energy bosses

Issue No. 2382

Politicians are playing games with energy. Millions of ordinary people are outraged at the hike in fuel bills while the big six power companies rake in massive profits. 

So politicians have been forced to try and show they are doing something. 

This week the Tories said they were enabling energy companies to cut bills by £50 a household. 

Yet in reality they are absorbing some of the costs the energy companies were going to pass on to their customers.

The Tories even want to claim that fewer people suffer from “fuel poverty” today. 

Yet all they did was change the definition in the new Energy Bill. 

So now 2.4 million will be classed as fuel poor rather than 3.2 million. But it doesn’t actually mean anyone is better off. 

To stop the rank profiteering of these companies would mean renationalising—without compensation—services that should never have been sold off.

The energy companies want all the profits but they want the tax payer to pick up the costs. 

It is not a “free” market.  When it comes to nuclear power tax payers constantly subsidise the clean up of this dangerous industry. 

The polluted site of Sellafield in Cumbria stores the biggest civilian stockpile of plutonium anywhere in the world.

Questioned

This week its nuclear bosses will be questioned about the clean up costs, which are now set to go over £70 billion. 

Yet when it comes to subsidising renewable or green energy generation politicians aren’t so generous. 

So the big six energy firms just cancelled plans to build the one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms planned for the Bristol channel. 

They were worried there wouldn’t be enough profit in it and there wouldn’t be enough public money to bail them out.

Even those politicians who do claim to support green energy have the same self serving eye on profit.

Tory MP Tim Yeo, recently cleared of breaking lobbying rules, is back as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. 

His position ensures his directorships of green firms which brought him in over £140,000 last year.

Labour’s Ed Miliband declared he alone was going to seriously tackle the big firms’ profiteering.  

He has said a future Labour government would freeze energy bills for 20 months. This is welcome for everyone struggling to heat their homes. 

But it is only a temporary fix and doesn’t change the root cause of the problem—the chaos of the market.

Energy shouldn’t be based on a system driven by profits and bosses’ greed. It should be an essential public service that everyone can afford.


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