Friday, 4 February 2022

Seven reasons Rishi Sunak's energy bill mini-loan policy is an insulting joke


Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the energy price cap is going to rise by an astonishing 54%, meaning a £694 hike in the energy bills of ordinary households.

In order to pretend that he's doing something to help, he's announced that energy consumers will be automatically enrolled in £200 mini-loans, which will be subtracted from their inflated bills, but then be paid back in £40 energy bill additions over the next five years.

In this article I'm going to briefly explain why Sunak's absurd energy bill mini-loans are dishonest, inadequate, over-optimistic, complacent, ineffective, economically illiterate, and driven by hard-right capitalist ideology.

1. Dishonest 

Sunak's mini-loans are being presented as a "rebate". This is astonishingly dishonest because rebates (like the massive UK rebate on EU membership fees before the big flounce) are discounts that do not have to be paid back at a future date.

If it has to be paid back at a future date, like Sunak's deluded nonsense, then it's not a rebate at all, it's a loan.

So when the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and a load of Tory MPs; and Britain's woefully biased media hacks keep describing these loans as "rebates", they're being profoundly dishonest.

2. Inadequate

You don't have to be any kind of maths genius to figure out that a £200 loan is insufficient to cover a £694 price hike.

3. Over-optimistic 

Sunak's decision to force a "borrow now, pay later" strategy on all UK energy consumers relies on the very big assumption that energy prices will quickly fall back to lower levels by next year.

But what happens if they don't fall back, and remain high, or even continue inflating even further?

The answer of course is that UK energy consumers would then be facing sky-high energy bills, with repayments on Sunak's mandatory loans piled on the top.

4. Complacent 

Sunak's complacency is obvious if you just care to look at what other European nations are doing in the face of inflating energy prices.

The left-leaning Spanish government have temporarily scrapped energy taxes, banned energy suppliers from cutting off non-paying customers, and introduced windfall taxes on energy company profits.

Meanwhile in France the liberal-capitalist Macron government have imposed energy windfall taxes and limited energy bill rises to 4%.

If the Spanish or French governments had allowed prices to soar by 54% and offered anything as pathetically inadequate as Sunak's mini-loans, there'd be massive public protests, especially in France.

But Sunak complacently expects the British public to just quietly suck it up like good, obedient little plebs.

5. Ineffective

Sunak's shoddy little mini-loans are a spectacularly ineffective sticking plaster on a severed limb sized economic problem.

What's needed is serious consumer protections, and urgent reforms to the UK's absolute shambles of an energy sector.

Here are a few ideas:
  • The Energy Price cap should only have only been increased at the rate of inflation, if at all.
  • There should be new legislation to protect non-paying customers from being cut off.
  • Windfall taxes to be levied on the obscene profits of private energy companies.
  • Energy suppliers that go bust should be renationalised.
  • Energy infrastructure should be brought back under public ownership in order to put the energy needs of the nation above the profit-seeking behaviour of private businesses.
  • The government should implement a Green New Deal to speed up adoption of renewable energy, in order to end the UK's dangerous over-reliance on expensive imported gas.
But instead of any real action to combat the current crisis, or to protect the UKs energy security in the future, all we get is Sunak's insultingly inadequate energy bill mini-loans.

6. Economically illiterate

Anyone who has ever run a business will know that there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking out loans in order to make investments, in things like property, machinery, or training. 

But if you're taking out loans to cover the cost of your day-to-day expenses, like payroll, materials, or bills, then you're in really serious trouble and veering towards insolvency.

Rishi Sunak is so economically illiterate that he thinks that loans to cover expenses are such a good idea that he's going to forcibly sign every energy customer in the UK up to them!

Surely now it's time to turn the persistent myth of Tory economic competence into the joke it should have been ever since they started enforcing their ludicrous and economically illiterate "let's cut our way to prosperity" austerity ruination agenda in 2010?

7. Ideological

Sunak is allowing profiteering energy companies to keep their unearned gains, while insulting the British public with the fake-help of these ludicrously inadequate mini-loans.

His decision to protect capitalist interests while throwing insulting crumbs at the public in order to pretend he's helping is a product of his hard-right capitalist ideology.

The entire purpose of the modern day Tory party is to prioritise the interests of capital above what's best for the British people and the British economy.

Just look at who bankrolls the Tory party operation, and look at all the multi-millionaires in Johnson's cabinet of hard-right ghouls, topped by Sunak himself.

You'd have to be hopelessly naive to expect the Tories not to side with capital, and against ordinary British people, which is why some of us have been consistent in our advice to "Never Trust a Tory".

Conclusion

Sunak's energy bill mini-loans are clearly dishonest, inadequate, over-optimistic, complacent, ineffective, economically illiterate, and driven by hard-right capitalist ideology.

But the Tories firmly believe they can get away with offering nothing but this insultingly inadequate fake-help in the midst of the worst living standards collapse in decades.

After all, the British public have let the Tories get away with an entire decade of economically illiterate austerity ruination, so why on earth would they suddenly rise up and demand change over soaring energy bills and Sunak's woefully inadequate insult of a response?

 
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5 comments:

Eoin said...

Glad too see you writing here Thomas-don't use twitter or FB. I moved to this country in 1988 and I have the right to vote which I have done in all but one GE. It never ceases to astound me how the populace keep voting or as I see it still tug their forelocks to their upper class masters who constantly for centuries have done nothing but exploit them to the hilt. Only the other day on the news were several (well chosen) plain people of Southend still supporting the malfeasant Prime Minister hence the 'we still love Borris' inanity abounds. I give up. This is not a fair system but a sham of a democracy-bolstered by a right wing MSM and an increasingly brutal and racist misogynistic police force further enabled by right wing draconian laws to brutally suppress any protest about it. Tear it all down I say and put the lot on trial for crimes against the people. Come on England-learn to think critically-throw off your chains and stop voting for your oppressors.

Mr. Magoo said...

We have the technology and knowledge to give every man, woman, and child on the planet a great standard of living. The only thing stopping this is the minority ownership of the means of production being used to generate profits. The 'for profit' system has made a world of abundance possible, but now it needs to go away. It's the 21st century but we're still living with this 19th century economic system!

The tragedy of the 20th century was a sustainable, global economic system was possible but it never happened. Don't let this be the tragedy of the 21st century! For only the workers are able to democratically and peacefully use the ballot box to take over the machinery of government to create a stateless; moneyless; classless world of free access (based on the principle: From each according to ability, to each according to needs).

Capitalism MUST put profit before people & the planet. Join the organisation that says 'revolution, not reform!' SPGB.net

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