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Leter to the media - Labour rent control proposals - March 2015
I see from recent media reports that The labour Party has again chosen
to highlight its populist pledge to cap energy bills if it was to win
the next general election,

In fact it could be sensibly argued that the prices we pay for energy
and the margins energy companies enjoy are not in fact excessive for
any commercial business. The real issue is people inability to pay
their bills in a country where business and government seem to have
made a virtue out of not paying a living wage.

There are indeed practical steps which could be taken by a more
motivated energy regulator to encourage competition, prompt
realisation of savings to customers when wholesale energy prices drop,
as well as ensure energy companies tidy up their own act with
inadequate  billing systems, poor customer service, and over complex

Earlier this year the Labour Party highlighted the fact that half of
the households living in fuel poverty in our country are actually in
employment, whilst there are over 1 million people in receipt of
housing benefit  who are also in a job.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, this level of benefit actually adds
up to a unacknowledged subside to employers, who should be paying a
living wage, and not relying on the state to keep their employee's in
house and home using government tax receipt.

The vast majority of people in receipt of working credits would dearly
love to be able to pay their energy bills without having to fall back
on the State. The real issue is the cost of living crisis in this
country but his is of secondary concern to a Labour Party more
interested in populist postulating than addressing the more pressing
issues of social justice.

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