Small businesses in the UK employ over 60% of the workforce, but, now, hundreds of thousands are set to throw in the towel as fixed priced energy deals finish, to be replaced with fixed deals, on average 300% higher. One business owner on a fixed deal, was paying 15p per KWh with a 26p daily standing charge, the new deal offered is 60p per KWh plus a £3 daily standing charge, and that’s typical. For those on standard tariffs, 100% increases are now the norm, and many thousands are seriously considering calling it a day.
The candidates for the job of Prime Minister seem oblivious to the catastrophe that is now unfolding. It’s obvious that, when (not if), from October, the average household is paying £500 per month for energy, then it’s game over for many small businesses, especially those in retail and leisure. Disposable income will be a thing of the past for many UK households and that is purely down to the extrortionate unit cost of electricity and gas. The Government has promised all households in UK a discount of £66 per month on their energy bills over the six months of Autumn/Winter, but that is a fraction of what the average household will have to pay under the new price cap, and the business sector doesn’t even have capped energy prices to offset the horrendous increases happening right now.
So, what is to be done? The UK Government needs to enact emergency legislation to nationalise energy supply. The generators are colluding with suppliers to keep unit prices higher than they normally would be. One only has to look at the £1.34 billion profit made by Centrica in the last six months to see the problem here. The same period last year saw Centrica making just £262 million profit, which means a fivefold increase in profits while UK consumers have seen an increase of around 150% this year alone. If the Government became the only buyer of energy in the UK, they could force prices down, meaning more reasonable profits for generators, as opposed to the record profits they are currently enejoying. One thing is certain, if nothing is done to bring the unit price of electricity and gas down, fast, the UK economy will enter a recession of epic proportions, which will make the 1970’s look like a walk in the park.