The Government has really let us down over the cost of living crisis, says Darren Grimes
Can you afford the cost of living?
According to the newspapers this morning, Boris Johnson's radical plan for solving Britain's reliance upon oil and gas from elsewhere is to relax planning permission on wind farms near you. So if you don't want one of the steel and cement behemoths towering near your home, blighting the English countryside, it's tough.
Isn't it interesting folks that you can see planning permission and your right to object to works near you removed in an instant when it comes to building wind farms, but when it comes to other forms of energy like nuclear or shale gas extraction, utilising the treasure under our feet, you might not even be asked.
Why allow only one form of energy to be built in Britain? Why don't we allow the market to decide instead of politicians trying to centrally plan the economy like a soviet with a five-year plan. I agree that we need energy security. Hell, I've heard the audible gasps as energy statements have been opened.
When governments tried to get us to drive diesel cars, we were later told they were poisoning us, when we burnt so-called renewable wood pellets, we chopped down forests and burnt the wood emitting more CO2 than the coal we'd replaced and of course we failed to invest in nuclear thanks to green extreme campaigns against it, which has seen France much more protected from the rising cost of energy than we in Britain.
So governments have made a hell of a lot of mistakes in this important area, I say get out of the way, allow the market to decide the best course of action, if that's new green tech great, but until that's ready, we need gas, but all we're getting from this government is hot air.
And the energy price cap, far from shielding consumers from the brute force of market competition, has actually destroyed any competition whatsoever. It's competition that drives standards and lowers prices, so now only the biggest energy companies survive and, instead of getting used to price rises as they come, we now have to face massive, steep increases every six months when the cap is raised. What we need is greater competition of supply of energy and greater competition in those supplying it to our homes.
Now folks you might be bored rigid hearing about energy and taxes, but here's a real-world example of why this stuff matters. Take your local chippy for example, you might occasionally enjoy a chippy tea, how many of us have relied on our local when we get in from work and can't face the kitchen. Well folks, because life in Britain is now so expensive, many of them might not make it through this year.
Overheads have soared, we're seeing council tax shoot up, we're seeing VAT on food go up and of course the cost of electricity and fuel increasing the transportation of fish, potatoes and the large friers that are used in our Great British chippy.
I don't know about you, but I look around my local area, as much as I love the North East, I look around me and I think my God, why am I paying some of the largest council tax rates in the whole country? I'll be alright, I live on my own, but what about Arthur and Martha down the road, trying to get by on their pension? Or a young couple trying to start a family? Or a small business owner, with small businesses acting as the backbone of the British economy. We risk losing so much more than pence and pound here.
Fundamentally folks, I feel really let down by the Government over recent times. It purports to represent the people's priorities but has failed to put in place a radical plan on tax, energy and household bills, and, fundamentally, I don't think it was honest with us about the inflationary pain brought about by locking down the British economy three times. Turning it off and on again like a light switch