Monday 17th December 2012
New research by the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group has highlighted the "spiralling" problem of fuel poverty in the UK. As gas and electricity prices continue to rise way above inflation, the group has warned that around 300,000 extra households could be forced into fuel poverty within weeks, with around 9m people forced into fuel poverty by 2016.
The government seems to think that simplifying tariffs is somehow going to help solve this problem. Yet this policy is merely tinkering on the edges.
The Campaign for Public Ownership believes that the only long-term solution to the problem of energy company profiteering is to restore the energy companies to public ownership.
The problem lies in the ownership structure of the energy companies. Their overriding aim is to maximise profits for shareholders, (and in the case of EDF, to the French state). Instead of reacting with horror to the entirely predictable news that PLCs are putting the interests of shareholders before Britain's long-suffering energy consumers, we should instead be calling for the government to take the one step that will lead to lower energy prices in the long term. Restoring the energy companies to public ownership will mean that prices can be lowered, as there will be no shareholder dividends to pay.
It’s clear that unless the government acts, millions more Britons will be forced into fuel poverty. The great privatised energy rip-off must be ended without any further delay.