Saturday, 11 February 2012

Big Six Energy Firms Profits Soar."If you see Sid, tell him".

Margaret Thatcher's Government decided in the 1980's that selling off the countries assets would enable them to fund their policies. 

Those of us around at the time will remember promises of reduced prices and improved services which would be offered by private sector companies running our essential services. We were ALL going to become shareholder capitalists and enjoy the bountiful dividend payments that ensued. 

Some of us thought we already had a stake in the public utilities based on the fact that previous Governments had purchased these organisations for the country and it's taxpayers.

Privatisation meant that all 19 million domestic customers were free to choose their gas  and electric supplier. I defy anyone to make the case that consumers are now better off than before privatisation. Share holders and big money investors are better off, private individuals just pay for their dividends with their Quarterly bills. 
A report last year by Brewin Dolphin established that nine of the government sell-offs of the Thatcher era had made profits averaging 419 per cent. The report, compiled in March 2010, compared those returns with the 206 per cent average rise in the FTSE 100 index since the flotations.

The Big Six energy firms are set to announce bumper profits of £15bn in the next few weeks.The figures for 2011 will be £2bn higher than the previous year's profits, according to forecasts from financial analysts. Meanwhile, with the Met Office predicting more freezing weather, Britain's estimated 5.5 million households struggling in fuel poverty will be forced to decide whether they can afford to turn on their heating. 

I don't subscribe to the proposed windfall tax on energy companies. A tax won't help those who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The only beneficiary to the tax would be the Exchequer, all that will happen is the additional revenue will disappear into the Government coffers and will be spent on anything other than helping consumers.  Ed Davey, the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary should appoint a truly independent regulator who has the stomach, (and teeth) to set prices based on market forces, not short term investor interests.

You can influence politicians by signing The Big 6 Energy Fix petition. Link.

The advertising slogan to promote the privatisation was. "If you see Sid, tell him". I wonder if Sid got the message?


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