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U.K. Politics: energy crisis takes hold, as gas and electricity prices soar

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  • Originally posted by heppolo View Post

    LibDems shouldn't get back to Nick Clegg-ish style of a "fancy third way empty suit" leader
    LibDems are over.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion

    Comment


    • Originally posted by menime123 View Post

      LibDems are over.
      they will still have their 7-10 MPs, there was a bit of resurgence in the local elections, so it might not all be done.
      I mean, even in the rigid first past the post system all it takes is a semi-charismatic leader and a huge coordinated media push like Macron had.
      Waffles are checked cookies

      Comment


      • Originally posted by heppolo View Post

        they will still have their 7-10 MPs
        Not enough. Yes we’ve seen smaller parties over the last decade wield significant power, but generally to their own detriment. British politics keeps going back and forth between Labour and Conservatives because there is no viable alternatives and right now, we have an incompetent government and absolutely no opposition. We are completely stuck.
        Everyone is entitled to my opinion

        Comment


        • Originally posted by menime123 View Post

          Not enough. Yes we’ve seen smaller parties over the last decade wield significant power, but generally to their own detriment. British politics keeps going back and forth between Labour and Conservatives because there is no viable alternatives and right now, we have an incompetent government and absolutely no opposition. We are completely stuck.
          I had this exact same thought yesterday and made a post but didn’t post it. we are in really strange times.

          We have an incompetent governing party, an even more incompetent opposition - and no other, alternative party that is doing nearly enough to hold either to account, or provide a legitimate third option to voters.

          The Liberal Democrats have become a footnote in British politics since their disastrous coalition with the Conservatives. Between the years 1997-2015, they enjoyed huge success in Parliament holding between 46-62 seats in that time, but since the 2015 election when they plummeted to 8 seats, they just haven’t been able to get back up. Now, I had to Google who their current leader was, as I’d forgotten (I remembered Tim Farron and Jo Swinson) - it’s Ed Davey. I guess we have to give him a chance but I’m not optimistic that they will do particularly well in the next election, they seem to be invisible in national politics.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Wayne View Post

            I had this exact same thought yesterday and made a post but didn’t post it. we are in really strange times.

            We have an incompetent governing party, an even more incompetent opposition - and no other, alternative party that is doing nearly enough to hold either to account, or provide a legitimate third option to voters.

            The Liberal Democrats have become a footnote in British politics since their disastrous coalition with the Conservatives. Between the years 1997-2015, they enjoyed huge success in Parliament holding between 46-62 seats in that time, but since the 2015 election when they plummeted to 8 seats, they just haven’t been able to get back up. Now, I had to Google who their current leader was, as I’d forgotten (I remembered Tim Farron and Jo Swinson) - it’s Ed Davey. I guess we have to give him a chance but I’m not optimistic that they will do particularly well in the next election, they seem to be invisible in national politics.
            Its a really sad time. I just think it’s really damaging for politics as a whole. There is no one to like, no one to support or get behind - politics is so stale dangerous people like Rees-Mogg have climbed the career so surreptitiously we just accept it: this is a man that opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, yet is the leader of the House of Commons and president of the Privy Council.

            I would love a new party by that would only take existing seats from Labour and leave us with a Tory majority. Kier might yet pull his head out of the sand but I suspect he’ll be shocked at how reduced his audience is.
            Everyone is entitled to my opinion

            Comment




            • This is one to watch play out - for those that aren’t following, Boris and Rishi essentially want to increase the National Insurance tax to fund an increase in health and social care spending (increase of 1.25% per person, raising 10 billion).

              They won’t increase personal tax payments as this would mean them going back on a manifesto promise. Unfortunately, the NI increase disproportionally affects the working class, especially younger people, and consequently this is facing a huge revolt within Boris only party, let alone elsewhere.

              Comment


              • The question needs to be raised: Why are there so many sickly people in this country? What can be done to prevent this from happening in future generations? Is more education needed regarding health and diet from an early age?

                I have quite a few 70+ aged members in my immediate family and none of them require social care and all are living independently at home.

                Comment


                • Against it. My council already charges me a fortune for social care.
                  Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                  Comment


                  • Councils have already been backed into a corner and forced (by central cuts) to fund ASC through council tax increases, now the government was us to fork out for it out of our NI too because Boris, despite his promises, has no idea how to solve the social care crisis and will do whatever it takes to protect the the older staunch Tory voters by passing, yet again, the buck to younger people and the working class.

                    Yet somehow the blame will go to Covid and Labour.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Thriller View Post
                      Yet somehow the blame will go to Covid and Labour.
                      Now is the time for Starmer to step up.
                      Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                      Comment


                      • Well, NI increase confirmed and transition into a separate Levy incoming. It’ll be doubled before you know it.
                        Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                        Comment


                        • I like the idea of it being contributed to a specific levy, ultimately - this step needed to happen at some point.

                          Comment


                          • Btw, for those interested (as I was interested in knowing how it would personally affect me):
                            • People earning 24,100 will pay 180 more.
                            • People earning 30,000 will pay 255 more.
                            • People earning 50,000 will pay 505 more.
                            • People earning 80,000 will pay 808 more.
                            • People earning 100,000 will pay 1,130 more.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                              I like the idea of it being contributed to a specific levy, ultimately - this step needed to happen at some point.
                              I am not against tackling social care, but I disagree with the taxation of it, especially as a flat rate across the board - someone earning 100k paying an extra 94 a month is nothing. A family surviving on a salary of 24k paying an extra 15 a month is literally a couple of meals.

                              I also disagree with paying for social care via council tax and a government tax/levy. I’m sure it covers different things but there should be one charge and one pot.

                              A working person in the UK now has four mandatory taxes to pay whilst trying to pay a pension because the state pension is no longer sufficient to live on.

                              I actually think dealing with social care through an individual opt in scheme (similar to a work place pension) would have been more workable and offered greater flexibility - when you consider we are in a generation of renters that are being priced out of the housing market, we won’t actually have assets to sell to self fund - meaning the tax will only increase.

                              Thus this only resolves the issues in the short term, maybe for a decade or two at most.

                              I have over thirty years of work left to do and contributions to make - I will pay my way, but right now I’m being taxed not to pay for my future care, but others that the government have let down - I remember David Cameron’s pledge to deal with this a decade ago.
                              Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                              Comment


                              • I don’t understand why this isn’t being funded by the 350m a week we sent to the EU that the Brexit bus suggested we could use to fund the NHS? Seeing as Vote Leave are now the government.

                                Comment


                                • Though I personally don’t have an issue with paying into a levy, it is shameless that the youngest and poorest are going to be most impacted by this. The generation that will benefit from this are the same generation that benefited from insane house price increases and unprecedented growth in wages - one of my friends mentioned to me the other week that her parents paid 8,000 for their house and sold it for 330,000 30 years later.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Thriller View Post
                                    I don’t understand
                                    I suspect you do
                                    Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                                    Comment


                                    • I just don’t think it’s a scheme I can get behind. It isn’t the financial implication that’s an issue, it’s the nerve of the government basically using Covid to justify breaking an election promise. I’m not surprised because it’s another lie and manipulation from Boris, but I just don’t understand why people continuously support politicians like this.

                                      Brexit, Covid and now Social Care. Boris has well and truly screwed us over for decades to come and he’s only been PM for two years. Thatcher would be proud.
                                      Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                                      Comment


                                      • Tax on landlords could help pay for social care, says Keir Starmer



                                        Money to pay for social care could have been raised through taxing landlords, Sir Keir Starmer is expected to tell a conference.

                                        It comes after Boris Johnson announced plans to raise National Insurance tax on workers and employers in order to pay for the NHS backlog and social care

                                        Sir Keir will describe the rise as "unfair" and "poorly thought through".

                                        But the Labour leader has come under pressure in recent days to detail his own plan to fund social care.

                                        Addressing the House of Commons earlier this week, Mr Johnson acknowledged his tax rise broke a manifesto commitment not to raise taxes, but defended the move as "the right, reasonable and fair approach" in light of the pandemic.

                                        He criticised calls for a rise in capital gains tax - the levy you pay on the profits when you sell an asset - arguing that it would not raise enough money to "even begin to deal with this problem".

                                        Speaking to the Local Government Association which represents councils in England and Wales, Sir Keir will attack the Conservatives' plans, arguing that: "Working people will pay more tax now, but might still have to sell their home to pay even more later."

                                        "This is an unfair plan that doesn't work. And who is left with the bill? It's working people. It's especially low earners and young people who have already borne the brunt of the economic impact of the pandemic," he will say.

                                        Instead he will argue that "the money could have been raised by taxing the incomes of landlords, and those who buy and sell large quantities of financial assets, stocks shares".

                                        Mr Johnson's plans, he will say, leave "a private landlord renting out multiple properties not paying a penny more in tax, and their hard-working tenants to pick up the burden".

                                        He will add it sees "an Amazon worker's taxes raised, but Amazon itself able to squirrel profits away in tax havens and only pay a fraction of what high street shops do".

                                        Earlier this week, Sir Keir told Sky News he would back "wealth taxes" to fund social care but did not set out further details.

                                        Giving shape to a future Labour policy, Sir Keir is also expected to say that his party would introduce a principle of "home first" care, shift the focus to prevention and early intervention, and introduce a "new deal" for care workers.

                                        Under Mr Johnson's proposals there will be a 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance from next April for workers and employers.

                                        It means that someone earning 30,000 will pay an extra 255 a year, while someone on a 50,000 salary will pay 505.



                                        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58516799

                                        Comment


                                        • Have y’all seen this? Basically, the U.K., U.S. and Australia have signed a security pact that will enable Australia to become the seventh country to operate nuclear submarines and increase the presence of these three countries in a part of the world where China is currently operating without much challenge or opposition (they’ll share security etc). It was heralded by the countries leaders as an unprecedented agreement.

                                          Well, it’s massively pissed off China - to be expected. But it’s had the unfortunate effect of pissing France off as well as it essentially brings to an abrupt end a $37 billion deal that France had with Australia. This has resulted in France cancelling diplomatic dinners in the U.S. and now even recalling it’s ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia!

                                          Aukus: France recalls envoys amid security pact row

                                          France has said it is recalling its ambassadors in the US and Australia for consultations, in protest at a security deal which also includes the UK.

                                          The French foreign minister said the "exceptional decision" was justified by the situation's "exceptional gravity".

                                          The alliance, known as Aukus, will see Australia being given the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.

                                          The move angered France as it scuppered a multibillion-dollar deal it had signed with Australia.

                                          The agreement is widely seen as an effort to counter China's influence in the contested South China Sea. It was announced on Wednesday by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

                                          France was informed of the alliance only hours before the public announcement was made.

                                          In a statement late on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who had described the pact as a "stab in the back", said the ambassadors were being recalled at the request of President Emmanuel Macron.

                                          The deal "constitute[s] unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners whose consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe," Mr Le Drian said.

                                          A White House official said the Biden administration regretted the move and would be engaged with France in the coming days to resolve their differences.

                                          Speaking in Washington, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she understood the "disappointment" in France and hoped to work with the country to ensure it understood "the value we place on the bilateral relationship".

                                          A recall of ambassadors is highly unusual between allies, and it is believed to be the first time France has recalled envoys from the two countries. French diplomats in Washington had already cancelled a gala to celebrate ties between the US and France which was scheduled for Friday.

                                          The pact means Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines. It will also see the allies share cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other undersea technologies.

                                          The announcement ended a deal worth $37bn (27bn) that France had signed with Australia in 2016 to build 12 conventional submarines. China meanwhile accused the three powers involved in the pact of having a "Cold War mentality".

                                          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-58604677

                                          Comment


                                          • France always pressed about something

                                            I don’t see how to ends their contractual agreement, but I guess there’s a termination clause. However nuclear submarines is just asking for trouble.
                                            Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                                            Comment


                                            • This is a story that you will want to stay close to. Essentially, and as if there isn’t enough to worry about at the moment, there has been a massive spike in energy prices. This has then meant that many smaller energy companies can’t afford to provide gas or electricity to their customers - it’s a perfect storm really, that will test the regulatory framework to its maximum. Normally, when an energy company goes under, it’s customer list is bid on by other energy companies - and as part of this process, energy companies inherit the credit that customers have built up in their accounts. And at the end of summer, when energy usage has been low, credit is typically at its highest - and because of how expensive wholesale energy prices are at the moment, the government are worried that when these smaller companies do go under (they will, it’s inevitable), nobody will want to assume the customers they lose.

                                              The BBC state that the number of energy companies could reduce from 70 at the moment to 10 by the end of the year.

                                              Brexit, the pandemic, a labour shortage, a shortage of HGV drivers and now this - what next for the U.K.?

                                              UK energy company seeks funds to avoid collapse

                                              The UK's sixth largest energy company, Bulb, is seeking a bailout to stay afloat amid surging wholesale gas prices.

                                              The company, with 1.7m customers, is working with the investment bank Lazard to try to shore up its balance sheet.

                                              It is the latest energy company battling to avoid going bust, with at least four smaller UK firms expected to go out of business next week.

                                              High global demand for gas has caused a recent surge in wholesale prices.

                                              A bailout for Bulb could come as part of a joint venture or merger with another company, with a further option being a cash injection from investors, according to the Financial Times, who first reported the story.

                                              A Bulb spokesperson told the BBC: "From time to time we explore various opportunities to fund our business plans and further our mission to lower bills and lower CO2.

                                              "Like everyone in the industry, we're monitoring wholesale prices and their impact on our business."

                                              Industry group Oil & Gas UK said wholesale prices for gas are up 250% since January - with a 70% rise since August.

                                              The price hike has left some companies unable to provide their customers with the energy they have paid for.

                                              However, if a supplier fails, energy regulator Ofgem will ensure supplies continue for affected households, and they will not lose money owed to them.

                                              A new energy supplier would be responsible for taking on any credit balances a customer may have.

                                              Four small energy companies ceased trading in recent weeks, including Edinburgh-based People's Energy, which supplied gas and electricity to about 350,000 homes and 1,000 businesses, and Dorset-based Utility Point which had 220,000 customers.

                                              At the beginning of 2021 there were 70 energy suppliers in the UK, but industry sources have said there may be as few as 10 left by the end of the year.


                                              The rise in gas prices has not only affected companies supplying energy, but food firms and supermarkets who use gas, in particular carbon dioxide, to deliver and store produce.

                                              CO2 is also used to stun animals before slaughter and as a coolant agent in transport.

                                              CF Industries, the UK's biggest CO2 producer, stopped production at its Teesside and Cheshire fertiliser plants due to the gas prices, which has sparked concern across the food production industry.

                                              Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held talks over the gas shortages with the boss of the US company, Tony Will, who flew into the UK on Sunday.

                                              Mr Kwarteng said he was "confident security of supply can be maintained under a wide range of scenarios".

                                              He said he would host further talks with the energy industry and consumer groups on Monday.

                                              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58619418

                                              Comment


                                              • The UK energy market is a mess and Ofgem doesn’t give a hoot about the smaller suppliers. Wholesale prices - for both gas and electricity (which is up 200%).

                                                If the worst happens and most of the independent suppliers close, Ofgem have the power to force British Gas to take on the customers so everyone is protected.

                                                But the real problem with smaller suppliers closing is that all of their financial obligations (e.g. government levies) are then passed onto all of the other suppliers, who have no choice but to recoup from their customers - thus pushing prices up even further.
                                                Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                                                Comment


                                                • Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                                                  Brexit, the pandemic, a labour shortage, a shortage of HGV drivers and now this - what next for the U.K.?
                                                  There’ll be a meat shortage in the near future.
                                                  Everyone is entitled to my opinion

                                                  Comment


                                                  • This country is about to implode.

                                                    Comment

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