WOULD YOU SUPPORT A WINDFALL TAX ON ENERGY COMPANIES? – Ex-Prime Minister John Major yesterday urged David Cameron to show the public that he and the Government have a heart and a conscience; for this winter the silent majority is likely to have to make a decision between heating and eating.
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Mr. Major has a point; after all even pensioners who receive a heating allowance still struggle to keep up with the fuel bills and despite this fact Labour MP Alan Milburn would like to see the Government scrap the heating allowance for our pensioners – I strongly suspect his parents are not struggling on a meager pension.
Since the announcement earlier this month by SSE to raise energy prices to the consumer by a massive 8.2%, it wasn’t long before British Gas followed suit by increasing their price by 9.2% and just two days ago Npower raised its traffic by a massive 11.2%.
There is little arguing that the austerity stricken taxpayer is being beaten from all quarters, in fact no matter where the taxpayer turns Government or corporations are squeezing every last drop of cash from them.
There are sound arguments on both sides; the Government accuses the energy companies of being just plain greedy. This might just be easy to justify when British Gas, only days after the price hike, announced annual profits of nearly £3 billion.
On the other side of the coin, the energy companies blame the EU for the incessant amount of legislation and directives that makes producing energy far more expensive; they also complain that ‘green taxes’ imposed by the Government are directly responsible for the increasing tariffs.
This week the Government announced that a French consortium is to build the next generation in power stations; an investment of £15 billion in which the company will receive decades of concessions from the Government in order to allow the company to recoup their investment.
Despite this it is unlikely that energy prices will fall and therefore the public will continue to suffer large price hikes making it increasingly more expensive to heat the home.
Yes, it certainly appears that the British public is being held to ransom and both the Government and energy companies are responsible for the kidnap.
Mr. Major however feels that energy companies should be slapped with a windfall tax. That in itself is not a bad idea. After all this would provide some justification to the excessive profits they continuously post.
The question here is that if a windfall tax is imposed on the profits made by the energy companies, how does this benefit households; after all any tax collected goes straight into the Treasury whereby it is wasted by Government.
The downside to a windfall tax could of course result in yet another price hike by the energy companies as they complain that taxation is restricting vital research and development into alternative energy in order to comply with the legislation and directives imposed on them by the EU.
Mr. Major pointed out the Ed Miliband’s idea of an energy freeze clearly showed that he has the people’s plight in mind but such a move is merely temporary and therefore not sustainable.
It appears to us that only one viable solution exists but that won’t please the environmentalists and that would be to scrap the green tax and tear up EU legislation and directives that the energy companies state are the source of rising energy costs.
Our energy is essential and therefore, would it be ludicrous to suggest that energy companies are freed from having to pay taxation on the condition that energy prices are significantly reduced and that a large proportion of their profits must be set aside for advancements in alternative energy production?
Such a suggestion is likely to be received as unworkable, after all the Treasury receives a significant amount of revenue from the taxation imposed upon the energy companies.
Of course we could argue that such a proposal might work if we stopped propping up the EU and dozens of despot dictators through foreign aid.
What the British public has to understand is that Britain is broke – it really doesn’t have a pot to piddle in and unless we are willing to explore some fairly radical ideas and then put these to the people for a vote then our current systems will collapse in the near future and the heating bills will be the last of your worries.
For a moment think beyond the household energy bill that you have to pay as such a move would ultimately have a knock on effect on the goods and services you buy. Yes millions of companies would also benefit from the move therefore making production cheaper.
Could such a move also increase investment in Britain and therefore create more jobs?
Of course this is just an idea and one that will no doubt be viewed as simply unworkable but again unless we come up with an alternative one thing is for sure – energy prices will continue to rise and all the complaining in the world won’t solve the problem.