Price Explosion threat to working class

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ENERGY bills will rise by more than 60% within the next few years, a report for the UK’s biggest domestic energy supplier Centrica said yesterday.

The annual average gas bills could rise from £600 to more than £1,000 early in the next decade if the price of oil stays at the current level.

If oil prices continue to rise towards the predicted $250 a barrel then the sky’s the limit as far as gas, electricity, petrol and food prices are concerned.

Centrica managing director Jake Ulrich stated the obvious when he said that such a situation ‘is going to hit people hard.’

He added: ‘I think it’s a reality not only in the UK but in Western Europe and North America. Energy is going to become relatively much more expensive in the future.’

The energy companies are already making record-breaking profits. There is only one way to deal with escalating oil, gas and electricity prices, and that is to nationalise the energy companies.

The forecast of a 60% increase in energy prices comes on top of the latest figures for food price inflation in the last 12 months.

The mySupermarket website has shown that a basket of 24 staple products bought at Britain’s three biggest supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s – has soared in price by 21%, meaning that the average working class family is now paying £1,100 a year more for food than it did a year ago.

The last government figures show that UK manufacturers paid 30% more in the year to June for their raw materials, and then charged customers 10% more for their goods in the same period.

These are some of the massive price increases that have taken place in the real word which workers inhabit and in which they have to struggle to feed and clothe their families.

The government’s own price inflation figures for June are only a pale reflection of this situation. They show a 3.8% hike in prices in June, and a 4.6% hike when mortgage interest rates are taken account of.

Meanwhile, as the real rate of inflation for working class necessities is zooming out of control, the continuing dollar collapse, driven by the growing bankruptcy of the US banks, gives a further thrust to world wide inflation.

Giant US mortgage lenders Fannie May and Freddie Mac are responsible for 40 per cent of the $12 trillion of US home loans.

Both are going bust and the dollar is going down the pan meaning that the US is moving closer to bankruptcy.

The Chief Economist of the CitiGroup bank Michael Saunders has likened the situation to ‘the economy falling off the cliff’.

While the banks and the bosses are to be propped up by the state, the government plans to push the working class off the cliff with the economy, by cutting the value of wages and by cutting millions of jobs.

The task of the revolutionary party is to mobilise the working class to resolve the crisis of capitalism by overthrowing the ruling class and establishing a socialist planned economy.

This mobilisation must begin with a programme of action to defend the living standards and the rights of the working class against the raging capitalist crisis.

This means that the trade unions must draw up their own cost of living index based on the staple commodities that workers require to live.

The trade unions must insist and fight for a cost of living increase that matches this real inflation rate and is reviewed upwards every month, in line with the real inflation rate.

With bankruptcies looming, workers must demand that their trade unions insist on work-sharing with no loss of pay, and that if the bosses seek to close industries they must be nationalised and put under workers control.

The trade unions must also organise councils of action to mobilise the communities to prevent the closure or sale of hospitals and other state-owned services with occupations, and also to stop the banks repossessing workers’ homes.

At the centre of this struggle must be the calling of a general strike to bring down the Brown government, to bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring in socialism.

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