The first major policy announcement of the new Truss government has, unsurprisingly, all the hallmarks of right-wing, conservative economics and a blatant disregard for the lives and difficulties being faced by working people.
Despite overwhelming support for the nationalisation of energy companies – recent polls suggest that over 70% of people are in favour – the response of the Truss administration is to bail out the companies already making billions of pounds profit through government borrowing, which tax payers will be repaying for years to come. It’s the same old Tories and the same old story.
When working people are looking for an answer to the current energy and cost of living crisis they need to look beyond the Conservatives and also beyond the Labour Party. Liz Truss won’t take energy companies into public ownership and neither will Labour’s Keir Starmer. He says he’s ‘not in favour’ of it – despite Labour’s election manifesto promises.
In the past year energy bills in the UK – where oil, gas and energy are all owned by multi-national companies- have increased by 215%. In the same period bills in France – where the government owns the gas companies and is the major shareholder in the main electricity provider – have risen by just 4%.
Taking our utilities into public ownership could, at a stroke, alleviate the human misery and suffering currently being experienced by young and old alike.
The cost of taking the ‘Big 5’ energy companies into public ownership is estimated to be around £2.8 billion. That’s a lot of money, until you realise that since June last year the government has spent £2.7billion bailing out 28 failing energy companies.
The solution to the cost of utilities crisis is not in vote catching gestures but in bringing gas, electricity, broadband services and fuel into public ownership and public control. Neither the Tories, nor Labour, are going to do that.