OVER half of UK households, that is millions of workers and their children, are experiencing food and fuel poverty, i.e. facing starvation and freezing this winter with inflation set to rise above 18%!
Philippe Commaret, a senior executive at EDF Energy UK, has confirmed that people face a ‘catastrophe’ with energy bills predicted to be nearly four times higher than last winter.
On Friday, the new energy price cap – the maximum amount suppliers can charge customers in England, Scotland and Wales for each unit of energy – will be announced. The typical bill for an average household is expected to rise to more than £3,500 from October, up from the current figure of £1,971.
A sharp rise in wholesale gas prices this week means bills are likely to rise even further next year, to as much as £4,650 from January.
On Monday, the price of gas soared after Russia said it would close down a key pipeline for maintenance work. Experts fear the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which delivers Russian gas to Germany, may not reopen, making further price rises in the spring more likely. This is the price being paid for the US-UK war plan for the Ukraine.
Downing Street has insisted households and businesses will not face blackouts this winter, telling them not to feel they should cut down on energy use.
The Electricity Supply Emergency Code however describes the steps Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, could take to ration electricity should that become necessary.
One course of action includes ‘rota disconnections’, which involves limiting or cutting power to some customers on a rotational basis to reduce demand.
Keith Bell, professor of electronic and electrical engineering at Strathclyde University, said cutting some gas supplies to large industrial users was a ‘credible scenario that we need to be ready for.’
He added: ‘A lesson from the pandemic is the need for preparedness and to test emergency arrangements to be sure that they’re fit for purpose.’
It is the working class, along with their children, that are to go hungry and freeze this winter. The rich will more than survive, they will be able to ‘suffer’ in luxury.
New research published yesterday by the High Pay Centre think tank and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found that the pay of the CEOs of Britain’s biggest companies surged by 39% in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Median pay for a FTSE 100 CEO increased from £2.46m in 2020 to £3.41m in 2021. CEO pay has also surpassed the £3.25m median recorded in 2019.
The research shows that the median FTSE 100 CEO is now paid 109 times the median UK full-time worker, up from 79 times in 2020 and 107 times in 2019.
Other key findings include:
- FTSE 100 firms spent nearly three-quarters of a billion on executive pay, with £720.21m awarded to 224 executives;
- FTSE 250 CEOs saw a similar 38% pay increase, with median pay rising from £1.25m in 2020 to £1.72m in 2021;
- FTSE 100 CEOs annual bonuses leapt to £1.4m compared to £828k in 2020 and £1.1m in 2019. 90% of CEOs received a bonus.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘Workers deserve a fair share of the wealth they create. But right now, CEO pay is soaring while working people experience the biggest real wage falls in twenty years. We need stronger rules to rein in executive pay.’
What we in fact need is a TUC organisation that fights for workers and young people who are going to have to carry the full weight of the crisis.
The current government is quite happy to drive up the price of fuel because it feels it will assist them in supporting their fascist friends in the Ukraine.
The TUC must be instructed at its September 12th Congress to call an indefinite general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and a nationalised and planned economy that will be able to provide jobs and a decent life for all.
Only the working class can put an end to the current death agony of the capitalist system which is driving towards war with Russia and China as the only way to save capitalism.
Join the WRP today! Get ready to organise the British socialist revolution!