RISHI Sunak’s ill-conceived move to increase National Insurance contributions in April at the same time that household utility bills will rocket illustrates yet again how out of touch the Tories are with the concerns of ordinary people they are supposed to serve.
According to a paper published on the House of Lords Library website on New Year’s Eve, over the last four months 26 energy suppliers have gone bust and wholesale UK gas market prices hit an all-time high at the end of 2021. The failure of these suppliers has in part been blamed on the energy price cap mechanism (a Tory invention). Some predict a doubling of household energy bills next spring, which will mean a quadrupling for mine since they doubled last autumn.
All this means an ever-dwindling disposable income for middle- and working-class earners, and impacts most severely those who need proper heating and can least afford it, namely pensioners and young families. The situation is exacerbated by this Government’s insane renewable energy policies, which disproportionately benefit wealthy homeowners who can afford to install heat pumps and solar panels, as pointed out in this article.
It’s clear that the big green giant sitting in Number 10, with his sidekick the Chancellor and their comrades, have never had to clip coupons or worry about paying the rent while saving for a deposit to get on to the property ladder, only to discover at the end of each month a dismally shrinking pay packet from higher taxes and now soaring household expenses, along with weaker purchasing power due to inflation at over 5 per cent.
Boris Johnson should proceed with caution around such a powder keg combination. According to WSJ Opinion: ‘Britons are paying the price for decades of green policies that have made their energy grid less resilient and less affordable. Mr Johnson didn’t start this bad-policy trend but he has done his best to make it worse.’ The £10billion spent annually on subsidising renewable energy sources through price guarantees and mandates for utilities to purchase wind and solar power ultimately ends up (like VAT) being taken straight from the pockets of you and me, the hapless consumers.
As for Sunak’s proposed increase in National Insurance, which is meant to rescue a floundering NHS and to address backlogs while supporting the black hole that is social care, such a boost should nicely cover the £90,000 salaries for newly minted diversity and inclusion officers to join the ranks of our National Covid Service.
It has been pointed out by the Labour Party (acting for once as an opposition) deputy Angela Rayner who hit back: ‘Combine the tax rise with soaring energy prices and the average family faces a hit of £1,200 – this is an iceberg right ahead, so will he finally stop and change course . . . or will he plough on to what will be a disaster for thousands of families?’ It seems that Labour, the party formerly known for tax-and-spend policies to fund bloated Government institutions, are now lambasting the Conservatives for raising taxes to the highest level in more than 70 years.
Only 20 Conservative MPs seem to have remained conservative: they published an open letter in the Telegraph pleading with Johnson to rethink his disastrous ‘net zero’ policies, revoke the green levies and open up British gas reserves for exploration to relieve the chokehold on supply and threat to energy security resulting from reliance on foreign production.
Will he listen? Probably not, as the rest of his party is just as blind to the sufferings of the plebs as he is. It should come as no surprise to see Tories who like to spend other people’s money, whether to deck the halls of Number 10 with designer décor to grease the wheels for future party donations with a lavish £3,000 lunch at a posh members’ club or to fund what has become known as the ‘most wasteful and inept public spending programme of all time’ (Test and Trace). In the midst of glad-handing their sycophants and rewarding chums with more than $11billion worth of lucrative Covid contracts, the party of excess and waste sees it as appropriate to stick their boots on the necks of hard-working people already sick of funding their whims via the public purse. And all that’s not even to get started on ‘Partygate’.
The Conservatives clearly could not give a toss about driving those who are already struggling further into poverty and despair as they seek to expand their largesse not only towards their mates and failed institutions but also to Big Pharma, spending more than £12billion in the first year of the pandemic on vaccines with more cash to be burnt in future.
If they are going to behave like champagne socialists, the Tories should at least have the decency to give us ordinary folk the right to go about our daily lives without further interference and restrictions, and to stop threatening lockdowns to save the very institution they claim to need so much money to preserve.
Because it seems cash is not enough – it’s your very life they’re after too. Like blood-sucking parasites, they will always be wanting more – not only to tax, but to control, monitor and regulate everything about you; where you go, how you live, your health status and what you consume. At the same time they are laughing at the mess they’ve created, living it up and playing to the eco-warriors with your hard earned cash.