Thursday, February 21, 2008
Ripping Off the Public: It's a Gas
Quite a simple wheeze really. Jack up your prices 36%, blaming rising wholesale prices. Then, when those same wholesale prices fall quite dramatically- by 56% in fact, delay your price cuts to consumers- and even then only give them an 18% reduction. Then, hey presto, a few months later, you too can announce record profits of £571m- as British Gas did today. And to rip-off Joe Public still further, you can also announce that due to rising wholesale prices, prices will rise again by 15%!
British Gas is doing nothing illegal- it is merely doing as all plcs do- and trying to maximise profits for its shareholders. Millions of Britons are struggling to pay their energy bills and the blame for the situation lies with the neoliberal/Adam Smith-worshipping goofs who privatised our utilty companies in the first place.
Our utilities should be run to serve the public- not to make fat cat directors and wealthy shareholders even wealthier. When gas and electricity were in the public sector, bills were a small item in the household budget. Now they are a major expense, and for most people, a major worry. It's time to say enough is enough- and for the government to take our energy companies into public ownership. Let's end the Great Privatisation Rip-Off once and for all.