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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.

1 comment:

neil craig said...

Sorry but the villains here aren't the electricity & gas companies.

If something is scarce the price goes up & we have an artificial energy scarcity. The government could & should have let the power companies start replacing & expanding our nuclear programme years ago. We & they know that electricty can be produced at half the current price because France has been doing it for decades. We could have had some of that too if they had lived up to their responsibility.