Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brown's Fuel Bills Plan-Wrap Up Warm

After last week's housing help that never was, today we had another damp squib on fuel bills from a wet and weak government. The advice? Wrap up warm this winter.

Lag the loft, put in a new boiler and spend thousands on double glazing. No word of even a small cash rebate. No word of a windfall tax on the greedy energy companies, not today or anyday it seems. 

This bunch of trivial measures shows just how out of touch is the government. 

As the big energy companies are allowed to trouser our cash and sail off into the off-shore sunset the measures announced today are a drop in the ocean. 

Energy efficiency and help for the needy cost next to nothing when you put them alongside the obscene profits to be made from the recent huge hike in gas and electricity prices.

And how are people expected to pay for the insulation, new boiler and double glazing? It's bad enough just trying to make ends meet and pay the bills.

Sure, there'll be some help for some of the poorer but any government of whatever party could and should be doing that. 

Struggling to feed the kids? Worried about paying the bills ? Fit an energy saving light bulb and everything will be alright.

Environment secretary, Hilary Benn, floundered - badly - on the BBC's Today programme. 

Announcing the £910m package to help people struggling with energy bills, Brown said this was a "better way" than bringing in the one-off cash rebates paid for by a windfall tax.

These are clearly people out of touch with reality. 

The trade unions, those with true Labour values and not cosying up to their New Labour pals, are expected to step up their demand for a windfall tax on the energy companies. 

Tony Woodley, of Unite, described the planned insulation package as "crackpot" and urged immediate cash help for people struggling with soaring energy bills.

The Conservatives said Brown had actually cut the budget for energy efficiency grants for people on benefit last year and was simply restoring the budget.

LibDem, Vincent Cable, said the money involved was "a tiny fraction" of the amount energy companies had raised as a result of being given free carbon trading permits by the government.

Time and again at the TUC, the true Labour union leaders, tried to speak up for people worried sick about rising bills. That is set to be repeated at the Labour Party conference.

The Conservatives have offered an olive branch to the unions and have already started talks about how they can work together in a new government. They're doing the same with the SNP. 

It now seems the true Labour Party, the SNP, the Conservatives and the LibDems, not in Clegg's fan club, are speaking with one voice on so many issues which affect people's lives.  And that's the voice of the voters.

3 comments:

Grumpy Old Man said...

Quite clearly, Gordon has nothing but admiration for the poor, the elderly,those who depend on a vehicle for a living and anybody living north of Watford Gap.

Simon said...

Most of this money needs to be claimed by those in need. This is precisely the sector that finds accessing the funds the most difficult to achieve - complicated forms, more proving how poor you are etc etc etc.

Add in to this the fact that a good chunk of the 'new' cash only gets paid if we get 7 days of cold weather. I don't know when this last happened - but it could easily be that the funds never actually get spent.

I very much doubt that the Treasury will cough up anything like £910million at the end of the day.

That, of course, will be our fault for not filling in a 32 page form correctly or other some other element that exists to ensure that they keep our money to spend on things we don't want or need.

Renegade Conservatory Guy said...

There doesn't seem to be any incentives for purchasing double glazing in these new measures.

The double glazing industry could have done with a shot in the arm, as it's 20% down this year, and predicted the same for next year.