Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Politics, Writing

Day 91

All over the EU, governments are making real efforts to ensure that energy price rises for households remain as low as possible. Of course, in an ideal world, energy prices would not be determined by the need for profit, and all energy and other utilities would be in public hands. Energy taxes are being reduced, and some governments are giving households additional funding to ensure they have the means to pay for their heating and electricity.

Alas, not here.

Minute Britain, the Disunited Kingdom, Little England, call it what you will, is no longer in the EU. On the day spring snow fell in most of the country and temperatures plummeted, just about everyone except the very rich (or perhaps they most of all) was taking meter readings and trying to send them to their energy provider to make sure that they wouldn’t be charged for energy used until the end of March at the new prices which come into force today. There will be an average increase of 54% on energy bills, with gas prices rising by a possible 81%. And what has the government done to protect consumers from this blatant greed by providers and energy companies? Nothing. Oh, it is handing out loans of £200 per household, and providing a tiny rebate on council tax.

The government had it within its gift not to change the energy price cap. The government has it within its gift to levy windfall taxes on energy companies which are making billions of pounds of profit every quarter. The government has it within its gift to abolish consumer taxes on energy supplies. Yet it had done nothing. It has reduced tax on fuel by 5p per litre, a reduction which was outpaced by prices at the fuel pumps before it was even introduced. Yes, the government of this small and insignificant country on the edge of Europe is doing everything to ensure that the poor of this country die. It’s as simple as that. And it is honestly not an exaggeration.

Energy prices do not exist in isolation. The price of energy feeds directly into commodity prices, food prices, commodity availability, food availability, services prices and availability, transport prices; every aspect of a country’s services, supplies, and economy. For a country whose people have already been battered by the adverse economic impact of Brexit (and even the Chancellor finally inadvertently admitted that this is fact in front of a parliamentary committee this week), this is nothing short of a disaster. Homelessness is higher than ever, food bank use is higher than ever, rent evictions are higher than ever, poverty higher than ever in “modern” times.

There is the urge to say that these are no longer modern times. That this government is deliberately leading this country back into Dickensian times, where work houses will be the norm, where forced labour by the poor for a ladle of thin gruel and a line on which to sleep standing will be the norm, where families will be split apart by deaths from hunger, deaths from diseases that can no longer be treated because the National Health Service will remain underfunded and sold off to the highest private bidder and the price of care will make energy prices look like small change.

This oppression of the people, this suppression of free will, this tyranny of the material, this class warfare, this genocide. All in the name of profit. All in the name of greed. This is a country led my murderers, psychopaths, and traitors.




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