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Letters / Poorest in society suffer by fixation on one economic model

How lacking in imagination the current proposed Bill to tackle fuel poverty seems to be.

Rightly it favours areas most exposed to the conditions of cold and wind – the Scottish islands, Highlands and exposed coasts. However, a public expense handout, however divided up, does not go to the heart of the problem, which remains excessive profits and ownership of the increasingly fewer energy retailers, where now cartel-like conditions exist to make a mockery of the concept of a competitive energy ‘market’.

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This proposal will be nothing more than a vehicle to pay more public money into the few shareholders pockets of the Big 6 providers, and this to generators, where they avoid taxation, usually through offshore registration and banking mechanism (as do the private shareholders).

For Alistair Carmichael MP to state on Radio Shetland that if “there was a quick and easy solution to fuel poverty, it would have been done by now”.   Not so!

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There is a way, if not several ways, but no political will, even within the SNP/ Greens government at Holyrood, who, to give them some leeway, have their hands largely tied with energy policy being set at Westminster.

If not localised public ownership of energy production and consumption through not-for-profit companies, taking account of local circumstances town/ city or rural, then a cap on profits with energy charges set accordingly lower to well know local weather – temperature and wind – conditions from the extensive historical data of the Met Office.

The fixation on one economic model – neo-liberal monetarism – by Tory, Lib Dem, Labour and SNP parties, at various times in government over the past 15 years, shows a complete lack of creativity, imagination and ultimately care for the poorest in our midst – the elderly, the unwaged, the young and the disabled.

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Beatrice [Wishart] and Alistair have been banging on about fuel poverty in our local media for all of the almost two years I’ve been home. Their representations to Ofgem have of course come to nothing, as it has become abundantly clear that it is not Ofgem’s job to regulate in favour of the customer, but given it is made up of Tory and market cronies with vested interests, they have allowed companies to hike prices and profitability so that Government can get more tax out of them to spend on contracts that benefit Tory MPs bank accounts.

England’s future energy needs will be met by a very mixed bag, including a new generation of mini nuclear reactors (as per nuclear submarines) with EdF, Electricity de France, at the forefront, along with China, in such technology.

Despite recent rumbles over fish and refugees, how ironic that the British public subsidise France’s energy supply, given EdF is still part owned by the French Government.

You really cannot make it up.

Jeemy Twa Ganzies
Aka James J Paton
Lerwick

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