Letters - Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Will Tories address rising fuel prices?
Many of your readers are pensioners like myself. For us the shocking, boozy parties are part of ‘the Whitehall bubble’.
They do not directly affect our daily lives. The price of fuel does. We must keep warm, but can we afford to?
Prices have already rocketed. The Resolution Foundation says the likely new price cap in April of £2,000 per annum will make 6.3 million households, or one in four of us, in the position of ‘fuel poverty’ – i.e. our energy bills will be more than one tenth of our total spend.
Some 38 per cent of pensioner households will fall into this situation, which will be more common in the North, where incomes and temperatures are usually lower than in the South.
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This problem has been understood for months.
Labour proposed a ‘windfall tax’ on fuel companies’ profits. This would fund help to every household and extra for the poorest.
The Government turned this down, but came up with no alternative. Will local Tory MPs and maybe candidates for party leader address this issue?
Should retired people stay warm in bed and set our heating to come on at 9am?
Nuclear won’t do UK any good
The rise in energy costs has predictably led the supporters of coal mining, offshore and onshore oil and gas exploration and fracking to demand changes to energy procurement – knowing that the new Police Act will make protest against these illegal.
It has also led to demands for nuclear energy production.
All of these will demand subsidy well beyond the ‘green’ subsidy to alternative technologies.
Last April saw the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Nuclear Fourth Generation Forum, designed to explore new developments in nuclear power.
Over 20 years, this initiative has spent billions, with many further billions committed to facilities such as Hinckley Point – under construction but overrunning on delivery by years, and overrunning on budget by billions.
Over the same period with less subsidy, and less spend, solar energy has increased production from 1TWh in 2000 to 1,000TWh in 2020.
Nuclear is not a cheap solution, it is not even one that would generate electricity for years, all the time operating at a risk to us all, and creating a legacy of toxic and radioactive waste we have not started to deal with.
In the interests not only of safety but of financial prudence, we need to be pursuing green technologies.
Last thing we need is a lame duck PM
Boris Johnson has been notoriously economical with the truth for most of his public and professional life, he was even sacked by The Times for fabricating a story, Sir Keir Starmer will make probity in public office a key part of Labour’s manifesto in the next General Election.
A cost-of-living crisis is about to hit us. It will require a strong leader whom the public trust and respect to deal with the severe consequences.
As interest and mortgage rates rise, supply chains falter, food prices escalate, national insurance rises, energy prices soar by up to 50 per cent, inflation increases to levels unknown since 1985 and the NHS continues its battle to survive, the last thing the country needs is a lame duck PM who has lost the respect and trust of the people.
If the PM had a conscience he would resign now. Instead he will no doubt struggle on heading a disillusioned party that thanks to him is rapidly losing the support of the public.
In the interest of the country he should go. His buffoonery and lack of integrity is no longer acceptable.
Dr Barry Clayton
There are only losers in a war
The Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that “we need greater world co-operation and to drop the Cold War mentality at a time of growing world tensions.
He is so right. There are no winners in a war, only losers. We are all in this together, one “family” on one planet. World leaders need to build bridges, not walls.
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