If you can’t be bothered to read Gordon Brown’s article in the Guardian, I’ve listed the points he makes which could help alleviate the energy crisis in UK…
1. The energy cap has to be suspended before 26th August, the date on which an approximately 80% increase in our energy bills is expected to be announced.
2. The Department for Work and Pensions computers, which adjust universal credit and legacy benefits, have to be reprogrammed in the next few days if help is to be given to all who need it when prices rise on 1 October.
3. Voluntary cuts in energy usage, should be agreed upon now.
4. Windfall profits and bonuses have to be properly taxed now before the money flees the country.
5. Home in on alternative energy supplies abroad and open up appropriate storage facilities at home.
6. British ministers should be demanding coordinated international action with an emergency G20 early in September to address the fuel, food, inflation and debt emergencies.
7. The government should pause any further increase in the cap; assess the actual costs of the energy supplies being sold to consumers by the major companies; and, after reviewing the profit margins, and examining how to make standing charges and social tariffs more progressive, negotiate separate company agreements to keep prices down.
8. If the energy companies cannot meet these new requirements, we should consider all the options we used with the banks in 2009: guaranteed loans, equity financing and, if this fails, as a last resort, operate their essential services from the public sector until the crisis is over.
9. On the basis of an agreed inflation trajectory back to 2%, we should consider agreeing year-on-year wage settlements – starting with a flat rate of between £2-3,000 this year – so that hardworking families, especially those on the lowest incomes, can afford their energy bills without being plunged into poverty.
Gordon Brown actually makes some good points, which may have to be implemented by the incoming Prime Minister if they are to avoid a “Winter of Discontent”. Gordon Brown did make a strange error though when he wrote in his article that “With one of our main suppliers, Norway, seeking to retain its own gas for domestic use”, this is incorrect because Norway uses electricity derived from Hydro power (90%) and wind power (10%). In fact there is very little connectivity available for gas supply in the country.