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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 April 2006

How to fight fuel poverty

MILLIONS OF the poorest people in Britain, particularly pensioners and benefit recipients are officially in fuel poverty, paying more than a tenth of their income on gas and electricity.

Many of them use prepay meters or weekly savings stamps rather than direct debit to pay for their fuel - but these are expensive to maintain and the companies pass the costs on to the consumers.

Over 3.5 million people pay more than they should do, according to the IPPR 'think tank'.

They call on the government to bulk buy the gas and electricity direct and deduct the charges directly from income support or pension credit payments, saving each person around 60 a year.

Well, 60 would doubtless help, but why not tackle the problem head on? The privatisation of water, electricity and gas by Thatcher's Tories, was nothing but a licence to print money for their fat-cat private 'owners'.

But Blair's government has kept these basic utilities in private ownership. What's more it has allowed gas bills to increase by 66% in two years while British Gas' owner Centrica unveiled record profits of over 4 million a day and electricity bosses such as Scottish Power announced they had raised their profit levels by 95% last month.

Why not start to tackle problems such as fuel poverty by taking the gas and electricity industries back into public ownership and running them under democratic control and management?

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In The Socialist 13 April 2006:


Socialist Party campaigns

Don't let Blair wreck the NHS

Hands off Cardiff's schools

Iraq - condition critical

Bush eying regime change in Iran

How to fight fuel poverty


Socialist Party election campaign

Huddersfield - the bandwagon is rolling!

"Standing up for working people"

Election campaigns boost sales of the socialist

Fighting fund target smashed - again!

May Day greetings


Socialist Party review

1926 General Strike - Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe


International socialist news and analysis

Mass struggle in France forces government retreat

Build for 1 May general strike in the USA

Italian opposition scrapes home but workers must stop the return of Berlusconi

Kazakhstan Riot police repelled by shanty town residents


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop New Labour's old Tory policies

Rail pensions in crisis

Vote Len Hockey

Organise to defend jobs at Visteon

New deal in the offing in local government?


 

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