There is a consensus that Energy profiteering is at the centre of the OECD’s inflation crisis. This is exacerbated in the UK due to privatisation and asset stripping of the gas and water companies. Brexit hasn’t helped.
The silence has been deafening but even Gordon Brown felt safe enough to make a comment.
A friend/correspondent, Paul Cotterill, proposes his 13 point plan, which seems well thought out but will be ignored. There’s some complexity in the regulatory regime which currently discriminates against those that have to prepay and renewable energy providers. Another friend correspondent, the “Forensic Socialist” writes about the energy extraction companies and their profitability as the centre of the problem.
After a week, Labour come out with a plan, which focuses on households leaving businesses inc. water and councils and other public services to continue to pay too much. It’s not going to be implemented so it doesn’t really matter and if his internal critics shut-up, it might at least skewer the Tories. Labour plan to cap energy prices and tax profits, encourage renewables and insulate the coldest homes. It’s extraordinarily expensive, even if fully funded; he plans to spend in 6 months, what he was previously planning to spend, £28bn, in 5 years on investment.
Richard Murphy criticises Labour’s debt mentality, well he would, but his calling out that businesses, schools and hospitals are not being protected is valid and important. If businesses increase their prices, then consumers will have to pay the new enhanced prices.
The FT, where the bourgeoisie tell the truth to each other, in an article by Stephen Bush welcomes the proposals, although they question the funding plans and whether labour get the scale and likely duration of the problem. He says,
On the other hand, it seems to my eyes to be a major problem that Labour’s big announcement on energy prices has not convinced either the energy policy experts that they have their arms around the scale, depth and duration of the crisis, or economic experts that they can plausibly fund their policies.