Energy prices

 

               To me the biggest single political issue that angers and worries people is energy prices.

               Every time you go to the pump to fill your car, every time the Gas and Electricity company sends you a statement or quarterly bill, you get a nasty shock. Super greens may tell us to wear thicker woollies, or to get on a bike. For many busy families there is no option but to take the car to work,  to use the boiler for hot water and central heating  and the  cooker for daily household chores. Paying the bills leaves many short of cash for other items. It is an important part of the squeeze on spending we see in the shops.

         The impact on industry is at least as bad. If you make cement, fire iron and steel, bake tiles and ceramics, run extensive automated plant, produce chemicals, forge parts, manufacture glass and a host of other manufacturing processes, you need to use loads of power. Of course leading firms work away at less fuel intensive processes. They find ways to cut kiln times, ways to insulate and to  reuse waste heat. They seek out  methods which cut their power bills as much as possible. They would do all that even if our energy prices were lower.

         The problem is the EU green and renewable policies, and carbon tax policies do not apply to competitor companies in places like China, Korea and India. The EU may succeed in cutting fuel use here, but at the expense of exporting manufacturing jobs elsewhere. The fuel still gets burned, but not in our part of the world. More employment and value added has been lost. Goods may be produced with less fuel efficient processes as a result.

          I am glad the government wants to encourage more manufacturing here. It is depressing in our shops to see just how many things we once made here are imported from emerging economies. Tempting companies and entrepreneurs back, or persuading new ones here to challenge the new masters of industrial output will require amongst other things a more benign energy policy.

                  More than ten years were lost recently  by a government which would not make up its mind and define an energy policy which works. This government needs to get on with it. We are told they are trying to find a way of allowing cheaper energy for manufacturing. Why not look for cheaper energy for all?  Politicans rightly worry about fuel poverty, people who find fuel costs are too high a proportion of the total. Wouldn’t it be better in our current situation to solve that with chepaer energy, rather than offering more benefits taxpayers can scarce afford?

                    The EU wants us to scrap all our old coal stations. Domestic pressures will lead to the closure of many of our older nuclear stations. That means there is a lot of  capacity to replace. Combined cycle gas is the cheapest and quickest way of doing that. Isn’t it time to get on with it? Some I am told is now going to be commissioned. Wouldn’t that send a message the UK is open for business? Wouldn’t  it also reassure a little the elderly and those on low incomes who now dread the arrival of the  fuel bill?

            The UK needs to earn its living in an increasingly competitive world. Let carbon prices, high renewable obligations and all the rest be global agreements, not pioneering increases in UK costs that simply transfer the jobs elsewhere.

 

 

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48 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed the energy policy is simply mad with much money wasted on Huhne’s silly expensive house and other wind and PV bling by government subsidy. Now being pushed by countless large companies on unsuspecting, dim & innumerate people (often with distorted tax free return figures). All wishing to show they are “green behind the ears” by sporting this Bling. These simply do not work in economic terms (or even Carbon terms if you still belief that huge exaggeration) – all just to show the government are doing something (albeit mad and counter productive).

    What, JR, are your thoughts on human nature now – in view of the riots in Tottenham and London? What proportion of the North East London population would simply go out and thieve from premises, at the drop of a hat, if they thought they would get away with it?

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Also though I am not a “super green” (as you may have noticed) there is much to recommend in an extra vest, jumper and fewer baths. Much cheaper and more effective than Huhne’s silly house Bling.

      Lower thermostat levels also keep you slimmer and more active and one small warm room is quite enough.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Do you think you will need to eat extra food?

    • MartinW
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’m sorry to say it is not only Hulne, but Cameron also. DC seems completely wedded to the mad policy of greening energy (and thus sending us individually and collectively into poverty), and I believe nothing sensible will be done to overturn this gaderene rush until he is removed from the premiership. Incidentally, neither will anything be done about the EU control of this once sovereign country.
      There are still four years to save our Party, and without serious and dramtic action, the next GE is lost. There is huge anger out here.

      • Tim
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        I agree withg Mr Redwoods post and proposed policy. Whilst he is at it, the green flying taxes are being raised next year to the highest in the world. All because of unproven science. 0.036% of the atmosphere is CO2 and only 3% of that is man made. Lots of recent studies show the biggest engine of climate change is the……… SUN!!. Cameron is the biggest greenie of them all. He even uses climate change as a reason we should remain in the EU. Codswallop. Unless I see a vote on the in/out EU, immigration under control and large numbers being repatriated, vast reductions in the foreign aid budget, “real” cuts in public expenditure, and measures to stop our services being abused by foreigners e.g. the International Health Service. No more Tory vote from me.

        • uanime5
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

          If you want to be taken seriously don’t bad mouth real science with nonsense. It has been proven time and time again by scientific institutions all over the world that the CO2 humans are producing is making the planet warmer. The sun is not to blame for increasing temperatures since industrialisation began.

          • Tim
            Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            Go read the latest NASA report published last month on the non warming of the planet based on real science over the last 10 years using its satalites.
            Then pray with your global warmists that you find some real evidence not a busted computer model 9hockey sticks and all) that was found to be a lie. Fool.

  2. Mick Anderson
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    If the UK is to be declared “open for business”, the Political classes need to remove the taxes that they have imposed. All of the new “green taxes” (especially the opaque windmill suppliment on energy bills) and a large chunk of road fuel duty should go, as should the VAT on domestic fuel.

    However, the Government takes so much money from these taxes that deleting them would seriously impact on their income, so they would say that they would only need to raise other taxes to compensate.

    Obviously, the correct answer is for Government to spend far less money, resulting in them taking less from us all (personal and industry), starting with all taxes on energy. Don’t hold your breath. For all the rhetoric, they really don’t understand.

  3. norman
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Here’s a top tip on how to avoid fuel poverty as revealed in this weeks Private Eye.

    In the face of unanimous opposition from locals allow 800 wind turbines to be built on land you own, netting you up to £3.5 million per year. Paid for by levies on ordinary punters bills, needless to say.

    Triples all round!

    • Simon
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Always seems to boil down to ownership of land in the end .

      • norman
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Sir Reginald Sheffield can do what he likes with his land, the bit that annoys me is that he is being heavily subsidised by people who can neither afford it nor want to look on these monstrosities. Add that to the fact to all practical purposes the windfarm is a useless white elephant.

        Thank God we got rid of the last lot, eh!

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I always wondered why the Roman Empire went into decay and then finally gave completely up in the West.
    Having been brought up in the British Empire, I think I am beginning to understand.
    The energy debacle really does take the biscuit though, putting us on a level with really stupidly failed civilizations like the one which ran out of water in South America or the people who fought themselves to death on Easter Island.
    Have they not heard of James Delingpole? Or Christopher Booker?

    • Larrie
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      yes, we’ve heard of both james delingpole and booker… it’s just that they talk utter s***

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      The Mayans ran out of water in South America because there was a 200 year drought. Hardly their own fault.

  5. Bryan
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    If there is anything that points to the inability of the Prime Minister and his front bench to use the gray matter between their ears it is this lemming self-destructive drive for a low-carbon economy.

    Not knowing any of them personnally I have to ask Mr Redwood – are they really this stupid?

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Not half as stupid as those who voted for them.

      • Bryan
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Guilty as charged – but only from a renewable source!

  6. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The manufacturing has followed cheap labour, not the cheap energy. Manufacturing declined in a period of low energy prices and long before rises.

    The only way to bring back hands-on manufacturing is to lower wage costs here. In effect high energy price rises (caused through global demand) is exactly that – our wages becoming worth less.

    High energy prices caused through ‘green’ taxes however, is annoying. We all know that this is just another way of raising revenue to prop up the socialist State (which no-one admits that Britain has.)

    I think you’re entirely out of touch on this Mr Redwood. Without doubt the thing making people angry and worried is unlimited and uncontrolled immigration. As it happens this is a big factor in driving up prices for everything too.

    We can handle being poor. We cannot handle losing our cultural identity and being forced to share – literally – every plot and every job within this land with the rest of the world.

    We cannot handle a break down in the law which was once clear cut and respected because we all shared an innate and cultural belief in it.

    Reply: I do not agree that cheap labour is the key to manufacturing. Quality, design and technology are the keys to modern manufacturing. There are successful factories in high wage areas of the world. Energy costs are more improtant now than labnour costs in automated factories.
    I fully understand people’s worries about immigration and have discussed the issue and taken it up with Ministers in other posts and exchanges.

    • FatBigot
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      All costs are relevant because the only issue for a properly run business is whether it is profitble. Rising labour costs and stable energy costs will cause fewer to relocate or close than a combination of rising labour costs and rising energy costs.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        FB – I must correct you there: the only issue for a properly run business is MAXIMUM profit.

        Mr Redwood – Major issues in the relocation of industries to the East have not just been wages but also the attendant costs of workers’ rights and safety regulations. These have proven to have been so prohibitive that extra energy costs are considered worth putting on the unit value – ie shipping the product halfway around the globe.

        I agree that we should have gone hi tec in our approach to manufacturing – with a smaller but highly educated population. Alas we’ve gone for a larger but lower educated population. This surplus population relies heavily on the product of those manufacturers (and workers) who remain in Britain – and to extract funds to do this industry is being taxed by stealth in the guise of energy taxes.

        If you’re not going to take a hatchet to welfare and stop the ingress of unskilled people then there is no other choice but to tax industry heavily.

        As an aside may I ask how this government reconciles its green stance on energy with that of its policy of high immigration ? Perhaps the answer to this question might shed light on what the true purpose of these ‘green’ taxes are all about.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      The wages for the metal trades are the same or less than in the late 1990’s. Is £5.93 as national minimum wage cheap enough? If you think I am working in my trade for this or less you are dreaming. Do you think any tradesman could travel around the country on five quid an hour? You can work for that if you like.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Bazman – it’s not me that decides wages but world markets. It’s not a matter of wanting to work for those wages but having to.

        £5.93 is obviously enough (as are benefits) because it acts as a draw to literally millions of people from around the globe.

        If you have a trade then good for you. You can work in Australia or Canada as will hundreds of thousands of skilled people who I think are about to depart theses shores.

        (I expect to be unemployed within a year or two – I’ll be going into politics)

        • Bazman
          Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          If you think Tesco wages are what they are because of world markets you are a fool. You are right about people having to though and there is your answer as to why the wages are what they are. £5.93 is only enough to survive as you would also be entitled to benefits including housing and healthcare Take this away and you could not live without homelessness and all the problems of poverty.
          Migrants will live like migrants for a while and then will want to live as the native population and not third world peasants even if that is what they are. This dream of creating a peasant class in England by elitist middle and ruling, classes happy with their lot living below the poverty line with no benefits is always doomed to fail and rightly so.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I agree with your analysis of and conclusions on UK energy policy and its costs. It is an outrageous and unnecessary burden on the consumer and businesses alike. Unfortunately the political leaders (Cameron, Clegg and MilibandE) as well as Mr Huhne are fully signed up to this policy as set out in the Climate Change Act and the Carbon Plan. I have written extensively to my MP about this pointing out awkward, unanswered questions about the hypotheses that underlie this policy and the futility of the actual measures they are implementing to deliver it.

    There is no rational reason for business to invest in the UK in any activity that requires significant amounts of energy. Indeed the Carbon Plan trumpets the virtues of Negawatts, the new policy whereby businesses are to be paid to shut down their activities! Until this nonsense is removed from the statute book and a competitive energy market is again permitted in this country, then you can kiss goodbye to any realistic prospect of an economic recovery. It is not as though the UK lacks the means to develop such a market – reports indicate that the UK is sitting on substantial reserves of shale gas . It is the political class that is preventing its exploitation for the common good.

    • oldtimer
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Since my posting above I have come across this analysis of the international response to the CO2 scare:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/07/worldwide-co2-emissions-and-the-futility-of-any-action-in-the-west/#more-44703

      It points out that China does not accept the hypothesis of global warming caused rising man made CO2, a view with which I agree. It further points out that it is only the EU, Australia and New Zealand that have committed action on CO2 to legislation. This group accounts for about 8% of the world population and about 14% of the world`s CO2 emisssions. This negates the effectiveness of any unilateral action.

      Quite apart from the ineffectiveness of the EU/Australia/New Zealand measures there are serious doubts that the totality of man made CO2 is significant in the context of the natural CO2 cycle of emissions and sequestration. That is another story but is, I suspect, relevant to the position that China has adopted.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    You are right to raise this issue but politicians have much to answer. The majority embraced the global warming scare thinking that it was a neat way of increasing taxation which the public would support. They gave carte blanche to the energy companies to increase their prices as part of their crusade and blighted the countryside and coastline with massive wind turbines which frequently appear to not be working and we end up having to pay them if they produce electricity or not. We have political leaders who in the absence of tackling effectively our deep seated economic problem are happy to claim “world leadership” in tackling climate change – putting our manufacturers at a disadvantage and squeezing the spending power of everyone – and giving increasing amounts of overseas aid including to countries which are growing much faster than the UK. Once again we see the vanity of politicians attempting to find some way to stride the world stage whilst impoverishing those they have been elected to represent.

  9. John Galt
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    John
    On the point about having a coherent policy I couldn’t agree more. With respect he rest is I think far from the mark
    The cost of energy in this country is simple its TAX
    It doesn’t matter how you dress it up its the same
    BUT not helping, as pointed out above is the con job called climate change, or whatever its name has morphed to this week. Its the biggest con-job on the go. That its not scientific and has been swallowed whole by the ruling classes is shameful and results in us being a laughing stock as a country. The joke that is wind turbines or solar is dangerous, the support needed to fund these white elephants is what is helping the rising fuel costs.
    The most economic form of electricity is a 35year old coal station, something we actually have, coal, we could re-open those pits and help become energy sufficient quickly, in the right business environment, which of course we don’t have.
    Gas, we already became gas deficient doing this, if we had had better long term planing back in the 80s we would never have had gas fired stations, its a waste of gas to generate electricity its very short term-ism especially once we had a national grid.
    Of course we have all become much more power dependent over the last 30 years, maybe this is something that is obvious to most of us, and like the rest of the “services” its not something that increases with the population, power is something that decreases with the increase in population.
    UK open for business, get rid of the taxes, slash government and repeal the stifling bureaucracy and laws and allow the honest worker to make real money.

  10. Ross J Warren
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The answer to this problem is under our feet. Coal, we still have a great deal of it and we should be looking at ways of exploiting it. If we were to put our minds to the issue of clean coal, not only could we have energy security for at least 200 years, but we could also be the market leader in clean coal technology.

    The cost of changing from natural gas to town gas would be a spur to our economy, and is frankly very affordable. Our coal reserves fueled the industrial revolution.
    The use of coal will give us a breathing space in which to solve the longer term energy crisis, and will put the day of judgement off for at least 200yrs.

    Coal would provide jobs, at a time when we desperately need them but of course the elephant in the room is carbon taxes. Even so I believe we can overcome most of the pollution problems associated with coal. In doing so we will buy the world a much needed alternative to Oil and “natural” Gas.

    What King Coal needs is political support, lets do something we are good at, lets mine our way out of trouble.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Good idea. How do propose to do this as coal mining is labour intensive and has to pay real wages as these jobs will require real skills. Or does anyone believe coal miners could be found who would work for six quid an hour?

      • uanime5
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        The only people who’d work in those conditions for that wage are immigrants. I guess if we use coal we’ll have to double immigration limits to get enough people to mine it.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Lets employ Indians from the sub continent on supper low wages with no benefits in work camps. Problem solved.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Certainly fuel costs are a worry to many, especially when gas is rising 20% shortly and Electricity by more than 10%.

    Suggest fuel cost now amounts to about 25% of the State pension.
    Council tax also about another 25%.
    This is no choice ependiture.
    Does not leave much left does it !

    Aware that Council tax has been frozen, but its still way too high.

    Green hidden taxes are suggested as 20% of the cost of fuel, (madness) let us have some transparency, and let the green tax be shown for what it really is on the bill.

  12. Peter Turner
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Energy is at the very heart of our problems. Green policies are aimed at making energy a scarce resource. You have stated that this government wishes to see more manufacturing. These two policies are incompatible. To manufacture we need energy. If we provide that energy then we will experience growth. If we ration energy to reduce consumption then we will have no possibility of enlarging our manufacturing base. The daft thing is we know how to increase our energy supplies, even how to increase our energy supplies without increasing CO2 emissions (although I do not accept this carbon scare). Why are we slow to do this?

  13. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Mr.Redwood, The so called Huhne Green agenda isnt helping but as long as a handful of companies (almost all now foreign owned) own the supply of gas and electricity to UK homes and business’s we are at the mercy of a virtual cartel whether we care to call it that or not. In a free market what is happening is completely legal but there will be a point in the not too distant future where society says enough. If Government waits until that point they will take the consequences, rightly so.

    • Simon
      Posted August 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Just before the 2008 crash the Govt decided it wanted to improve the countries energy infrastructure .

      Only trouble was they didn’t want this on the countries accounts .

      In a move reminiscent of PFI they made a deal with the energy suppliers and distributors to turn a blind eye to price increases on condition that they did infact invest some of the increased profits to enhance the infrastructure .

      That is exactly what the current administration appears to be continuing to do .

      J.R. are these companies fulfilling their part of the bargain by actually investing in infrastructure or are the increased profits all being taken out in the form of dividends and bonuses ?

  14. sm
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The EU….again… whats happened to the pretence of subsidarity.

    Coal stations should not be closed in the UK until they are outside useful economic life. The EU needs to be told…NO.. but maybe in good time if we have surplus power.

    With an integrated EU grid it does not make sense if other countries are building coal stations. Why would this be?

  15. David John Wilson
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    We vitally need energy companies to reduce the number of different tariffs which are available from them. It is almost impossible for anyone trying to contol their spending on gas and electricity to find the most appropriate tariffs for them. In particular the poorer members of the community find it impossible to understand what is best for them.
    We need all power to be sold at a single flat rate and to get rid of the more expensive tariff for the first units used. These disadvantage those who have to minimize their usage and those who adopt the energy saving which the government is trying to encourage while rewarding the profligate.

  16. Neil Craig
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    About 1/3rd ofv electricity use & I assume other sorts of e3nergy too, is domestic. That means 2/3rds is industrial etc. The costs of that 2/3rds must also be passed on, though we don’t notice it and so directly blame the authors.

    The correlation between energy use and GNP is undisputed. By making energy more expensive and scarecer our government is directly responsible for creating the recession

    We will obviously not get out of recession until government allows the production of power. Its that simple.

    Nuclear power is already half the price of our current electricity basket. This is with regulations taking up well over half the running and building costs. Morevover if mass production of reactors was allowed the costs would probably halve again. Over5 90% of the cost of our electricity is government parasitism. If costs fell 90%, even if they fell 25% we would be quickly out of recession.

    John “The problem is the EU green and renewable policies, and carbon tax policies do not apply to competitor companies in places like China, Korea and India” reads as if things would be fine if only these countries were to get into the hole with us. I hope that is not what you mean. Other countries running bettter competition is the route to progress. The very worst thing that could happen to the human race, in the long term worse even than nuclear war, would be a world government able to enforce Luddism everywhere. So long as the alternative can be seen there is hope.

  17. Tedgo
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all of the above. I think the Government should not hide behind commercial confidentially and publish the full extent of subsidies and guaranteed feed in tariffs etc for renewable energy industries. The feed in tariff for solar power is about 41p per unit I believe, well above the 13p we currently pay for electricity.

    I feel sorry for the businesses that are currently investing millions in plant and machinery to manufacture wind turbine equipment and towers, I think they are going to lose out when we abandon wind power. They will demand compensation.

    What also worries me, is like the nuclear industry, who is going to pay for the decommissioning of all these wind farms, or are they simply going to fall in to disuse and become an even greater blight on the landscape or navigation hazard at sea. Do the operators have to contribute to a independent decommissioning fund.

    Money should be spent on clean coal development.

  18. forthurst
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    “The problem is the EU green and renewable policies, and carbon tax policies do not apply to competitor companies in places like China, Korea and India. The EU may succeed in cutting fuel use here, but at the expense of exporting manufacturing jobs elsewhere.”

    This is exactly what was intended all along; it is part and parcel of the globalist agenda of de-industrialising Western countries in order to create a level global playing field (not for cricket) in terms of wage costs. Globalists are not imaginary beings like fairies, they do exist, but they are quite obviously entirely superflous to the common good and they operate by pulling the strings from behind the scenes, acting on the belief systems of policy formers like Cameron and Huhne. This process is well underway in the USA as the decline of the ‘middle class’ and the same thing is underway in Europe and Australasia as companies are obliged by their need to remain globally competitive to consider relocating their energy comsumptive industries to the East.

    There never has been a convincing scientific case for AGW, but if there were, it would be predicated on the even distribution of CO2 over the globe making a total nonsense of the policies being pursued. The whole impetus for this has been the requirement to create a justification for pursuing the globalists’ de-industrialisation agenda and they have been paying and rewarding scientists and economists for generating papers of questionable academic merit, albeit with the usual management summaries of hyperbole.

    Anyone interested in climate science could do well to consult a paper published in WUWT entitled, “Earth’s Climate System Is Ridiculously Complex” or ‘policy formers should understand that they are being advised by people talking out of their hats’.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      Has that paper been peer reviewed by reputable scientists?

      • forthurst
        Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Do you mean has it been peer reviewed by the author of, “Earth’s climate is ridiculously simple, it’s solely about anthropolically originated CO2 and please pay me $20,000”. No, if you had looked you would have seen that it was a compedium of sources reflecting the known vectors forming Earth’s climate: construing the reference list would keep you away from this site for a long time which would not necessarily be an unmitigated disaster. WUWT accepts and posts criticisms to all its articles unlike the proponents of the AGW religion.

  19. Sean O'Hare
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    When the day comes that my wife and I cannot afford to heat our home, and the way things are going that will not be in the too distance future, Huhne had better watch his back. Not that I am threatening violence, but I will become the bane of his useless life.

  20. Bazman
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Average take home pay around Cambridge is about £1000 pm For factory/shop worker on about £6-7.50 per hour. Assuming they can find a job within commuting distance and are allowed to work enough hours. Many are casual workers and can be sent home from bars, shops, warehouses and factories when there is not enough work. Or fired…
    Rent for 3 bedroom terraced house £600 + pm Flat £400 minimum if you can find or get one from the council. Private are often all electric adding £100 pm. Either way a one or two person shoebox.
    Utilities including TV licence and phone £120 pm
    council tax £115 pm.
    Leaves about £165 pm for food, travel to work, entertainment and sundries. Could the fantasists tell us how anyone is supposed to live on less without multiple occupancy?
    Maybe If they paid less tax they would be better off? How much tax do you think anyone pays with a tale home of a grand a month? Difficult to avoid VAT so that regressive tax rise was a blow. The low wage worker must be outraged at the 50p tax rate though.
    It’s telling that no post so far mentions rip off energy companies and low wage, high profit companies for the state of much of the living standards of this country.
    Maybe they should just get a better job Huh?

  21. uanime5
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    It’s no wonder we’re having the energy problem; the people of this country have been opposing every attempt to build new means of generating energy. Nimbies hate wind turbines, surfers hate tidal barriers, and greens hate nuclear. If the Government wants to ensure their is sufficient, affordable power they have to stand up to local pressure, rather than caving in.

    In my opinion we need a new generation of nuclear power plants to ensure their is sufficient energy in the future.

    • sm
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Tidal barriers= construction work,also predictable power,no fuel burn costs – no imports, local labour maintenance ongoing, no direct co2. It probably could built with a bridge as well, maybe with turbines on, as the infrastructure will be there already.

      We have lack of demand for labour, we have potential power problems ahead. We have cash building up in MNC’s no investing for future.

      After projects like this have happened and we have surplus power then we can think about retiring uneconomic or obsolete plant.

  22. Winston's Black Dog
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Have Cameron and Huhne read your article?

  23. Energy Comparison
    Posted September 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I never thought of the unintended consequences of a carbon tax; the product just being produced in another part of the world and produced with an even more distructive process. This makes sense, but I think there are lots of situations where this would not happen, especially the service industry. Perhaps, we could add a tariff on the goods that are energy intensive. Also, pressure needs to be applied to have China increase the value of its currency. This overly cheap currency has allowed China to grow rapidly and steal away jobs from the rest of the world.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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