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Heat or Eat?

Four of the UK’s so-called ‘big six’ energy suppliers have recently announced plans to put up their prices. SSE, British Gas, Npower and Scottish Power are hiking their domestic charges by as much as 10 per cent from the middle of next month.

The ConDem coalition doesn’t seem to care about old people facing a choice of heating their homes or eating. David Cameron doesn’t want to do anything about the energy suppliers. He just dodges the issue by asserting that “it is for the energy companies to explain the decisions they have taken around bills to their customers.”

eatorheatCameron and the rest of the Tories really don’t care about ordinary people. The Tories are happy to allow pensioners and others on low income to face the tough choice this winter – ‘eat or heat?’.
Thousands of old people face death this winter so that utility companies can extort money from the poorest people in our society. People will die unnecessarily due to cold related problems, such as pneumonia, poor circulation or diabetes related complaints. The Tories and their Lib Dem poodles will be to blame for this.

So what about Labour? Do they have any answers?

Their  shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, says:

“Labour would freeze energy bills for 20 months and create a tough new watchdog with the power to force energy companies to cut their prices when the cost of energy falls” .

But Labour’s 20-month freeze would bring a one-off respite of just £120 for gas and electricity company customers, for which the energy cartel members have already begun preparing by overcharging them this winter.

No-one should doubt that they will do precisely the same next year and at any other time before or after a Labour government temporary tariff freeze.

Flint’s suggestion that “a tough new watchdog” will cut energy prices when the cost of energy falls is pie in the sky. Regulators don’t have a strong record in dealing with the privatisation swindlers.

Isn’t it time we looked at putting our energy supply under democratic control through public and community-owned production and distribution?  Around two-thirds of the electorate is demanding that the electricity and gas industries be returned to public ownership. Our people need affordable energy but the energy suppliers don’t care about them – only about their fat profits.

By Patrick Harrington


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