BRITISH GAS TO ANNOUNCE INCREASING PROFITS AS CONSUMERS BILLS INCREASE – Centrica, the owners of British Gas, are set up announce huge profits of nearly £3 billion this year and a large percentage of the increased profits is derived from the ever increasing cost of Gas and Electricity to the consumer.
Some groups are calling on the Government to step in and curb the greed as the consumer experienced a 6% increase in bills this year and at a time when winter really bit hard.
The vast profits are also fueling a backlash from consumer groups as it is announced that the soon departing boss of British Gas, Phil Bentley, is likely to walk away from the company with a severance and bonus package totaling £10 million.
Centrica has issued a press release that it hopes will soften the amount of ridicule it receives of the growing profits and the bonus payouts to senior management by stating that its business practices are good for the country and consumer as a whole. Centrica stated that it pays the equivalent in taxes of £158 per household in the UK and that it employs over 33,000 people.
There is no denying these facts, however, as many consumer groups are stating, ‘Is it necessary to make such vast profits knowing that the consumer is already hard pressed due to the downturn in the economy?’
While none of us like the continuous increase in Gas and Electricity costs it should be noted that British Gas, unlike its rivals, is a British Company and pays its taxes to the UK Government, whereas other energy companies are situated in Europe.
It is reported that the national average bill for Gas and Electric is now slightly short of £1,300 per household and many consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the bills, especially during harsh winters, as we are experiencing now.
One issue that consumer groups are pressuring the Government with is the inadequate subsidy payments for Gas and Electric for pensioners and this is becoming even more difficult due to Centrica increasing its tariffs.
Centrica refuses to take all the blame for the increase in fuel bills as it points out that the Governments ‘GREEN’ initiative has pushed up costs, by forcing them to subsidies programmes such as the building of Wind Farms and Free Insulation for Homeowners of those on low incomes.
The question is; ‘Are we paying a fair amount for our energy?’ Many householder’s would say that the current charges, in light of the increase in annual profits, is clear evidence that British Gas is fleecing the consumer for all it can and that Government should step in and curb its greed.