Sunday, July 31, 2011

British Gas shareholders receive bonus while customers suffer

The Daily Telegraph reports:

Centrica, which owns Britain’s biggest gas and electricity company, announced profits of £1.3 billion for the past six months, including £270 million for British Gas.

The company is going ahead with a 12 per cent rise in payouts to shareholders, despite the price rise for its energy customers.

Centrica said that the rise, which comes into force in the middle of next month, was vital for the company to make a profit in the second half of the year.

Nine million residential customers are preparing for an 18 per cent rise in gas prices and a 16 per cent rise in electricity prices.

The rise will add about £190 to the cost of customers’ average annual bills, which will now be £1,286.

More on this story here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Neil Clark: The Coalition's Public services proposals will not mean more choice

This article, by CPO co-founder Neil Clark, appears on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.

Neil Clark: David Cameron wants us to believe that rolling back state provision will benefit the public. The opposite is true.

Thirty-two years after Margaret Thatcher swept into Downing Street promising to roll back the frontiers of the state, the neoliberal drive towards a fully privatised Britain is entering its final stages. The government's new Open Public Services white paper, revealed by David Cameron last week, may have passed under the radar somewhat due to the scandals engulfing the Murdoch media empire, but it's an important document nonetheless.

You can read the whole of the article here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

‘A good day to bury bad news‘-full speed ahead for NHS privatisation

The Guardian reports:

The government will open up more than £1bn of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities, the health secretary announced on Tuesday, increasing fears that it will inevitably lead to the "privatisation of the health service".

Labour questioned the policy, which the shadow health secretary John Healey said was "not about giving more control to patients, but setting up a full-scale market."
His colleague Emily Thornberry, the party's health spokeswoman, added that "today is a good day to announce the policy because everyone is preoccupied with telephone hacking. (They) hope no one will notice it". This theme was picked up on Twitter with a stream of comments about "it being a good day to bury bad news"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Neil Clark: It's time to renationalise British Gas

You can hear Neil Clark, co-founder of the CPO, make the case for renationalisation of Britain’s energy companies on the Emma Britton Show on BBC Radio Somerset.

The discussion comes at 32 minutes into the programme of Tuesday 12th July.