Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/548/6400

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 September 2008

Brown's feeble fuel package

HOUSEHOLD ENERGY bills have been rising rapidly and are expected to average 1,400 next year. The 'big six' energy utilities operating in Britain put up their prices to customers by 38% this year. They also increased their shareholder's dividend payouts by 19%, shelling out 1.64 billion. That's 257 million more than the year before.

Dave Rogers

The union Unite says that since 2003, energy firms have increased their profits by 538% while raising prices by over 35% in this year alone. Many MPs and union leaders called for a windfall tax on the privatised energy companies' huge profits.

However, prime minister Gordon Brown decided not to repeat the 5 billion tax imposed in 1997 because he was desperate for these private companies to build new nuclear power stations and wind farms.

So Brown introduced an 'energy package', a 'voluntary scheme' aimed at persuading these same pirates to invest more. The package included a 1 billion cash injection into schemes to insulate homes free or half-price together with some enhancements to cold weather payments for the elderly.

The fuel giants are supposedly paying 910 million of the 1 billion insulation bill. But some industry chiefs warn that they will push up their prices and we see no reason not to believe them. They are determined that consumers, ie you and me, foot the bill.

Energy efficiency measures are needed, but the package will make little difference to most people facing huge electricity and gas bills. Brown is trying to squeeze improvements out of profit-hungry capitalist firms at a time of deepening recession.

Look at the energy chiefs' attitude towards prices and profits. Last week Mark Owen-Lloyd, head of power trading at E.ON, one of the big six energy firms, was asked what the implications were of continuing high oil and gas prices. He answered: "It will make more money for us"!

Energywatch says four million households (including 2.5 million pensioner households) already suffer from fuel poverty (ie paying more than a tenth of their income on energy bills). By 2010, 5.7 million households will be in that invidious position.

The National Pensioners Convention reckons that 20,000 pensioners could die from the cold this winter. Brown's package will do little to prevent such a catastrophe.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 17 September 2008:


Credit crunch

It's time to fight back!


Socialist Party editorial

Capitalist crisis - Karl Marx was right


Anti-racism

No to racism: Yes to decent jobs, homes & services!


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist candidate gains 40% of vote, stuns Usdaw leaders

Conflict in Georgia - independent position needed

Brown's feeble fuel package


Labour Party conference protest

Protest at war and occupation

Welcome to the real Manchester

Fighting city needs a fighting party

Panicky MPs turn on Labour


Privatisation and closure

No to post office closures

Protesters tackle Metro privatisation


Socialist Party feature

Middle East: End imperialist aggression!


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus strike: "Showing them our power"

Pickets cheer in West London

Ford workers meet to defend jobs

Journalists win union recognition victory

2008 Trades Union Congress: Pressure from below begins to show

Swansea rail workers fighting for a living wage

fastnews


International socialist news and analysis

Interview with Cindy Sheehan: "Some kind of populist uprising needs to happen"

Scotland: Tactical questions for local government pay battle


Socialist Party review

'Bob Marley' reviewed by Jason Toynbee


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 September 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Energy:

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

triangleEDF Energy workers furloughed on 100% pay

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Renewable Energy - a just transition

triangleJohnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

triangleThem & Us

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

triangleBritish Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999