“As the dependency on foodbanks, even for people with jobs, continues to rise, as child poverty rates exceed 25% and three people die on the streets of Belfast, homeless without hope, heat or shelter, the Shell oil and gas company recorded annual profits of £32 billion – the highest in its 115-year history”, Patrick Crossan of the Workers Party has said.
“Shell will not be paying any tax in the UK this year courtesy of a loop hole that allows them to offset the costs incurred by investment and development. But they will be paying out more to their shareholders than they will be investing in renewable energies: oil and gas becomes smoke and mirrors”, Patrick said
A merry dance
“In media circles, this obscene, unjustified and unjustifiable profiteering at the expense of working people was a one-day-wonder: in some cases, not even that.
“It’s been said that the job of the media is to distract working people from reality. It fulfils that role well but it also protects multi-national corporations and their operations from public inquiry. The results of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ get more media scrutiny than corporate robbery and grand larceny”, Patrick commented.
“Energy and other utility providers don’t operate as a public service. They exist to make and maximise profits”, he said.
“The solution to the cost of utilities crisis is not in vote catching gestures like ‘windfall taxes’ but in bringing utilities like gas, electricity, broadband services and fuel into public ownership and control.
“The increased poverty, deprivation and mounting mental health pressures caused by the current cost of living crisis is being fuelled by the astronomical price hikes in gas, electricity, oil and petrol. At the root of the problems lie the private ownership of the natural resources and their distribution and delivery chains” stated Patrick
“We work for our public services. We use them. We pay for them. We must own them” he concluded