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Policy Warfare Political Nightmare

Nuclear 1 : Insulation 0

David Cameron PM, the “PM” allegedly standing for “Panic Mode”, has pledged to drop £112 from the annual household energy bill by cutting green “taxes”. Many of the green energy and energy efficiency support measures aren’t actually designed to be paid for by taxes, in fact, but through energy bills.

Nick Clegg was “stunned” by this announcement, and went on breakfast television to say so. Here’s what the Evening Standard said :-

“[…] David Cameron today risked a huge coalition split by announcing that he will “roll back” green taxes that add £112 to soaring energy bills. The bombshell announcement was dropped in a packed Commons while his deputy Nick Clegg, a huge supporter of green measures, sat in stony-faced silence. Battling to regain the political initiative on home energy bills, Mr Cameron told MPs: “We need to roll back the costs that have been imposed on people’s energy bills.” Sources said changes could be announced as early as the Chancellor’s autumn statement. [… ] Among the charges on domestic bills is ECO, which pays energy firms to help vulnerable people and adds £50 to the average bill; a renewables obligation, costing families £30; insulation schemes costing £11 and renewables subsidies costing £30. His announcement comes a week after Lib-Dem Energy Secetary Ed Davey dismissed Tory calls to scrap green levies to reduce bills as “silly”. […] Despite Lib-Dem ministers saying just weeks ago that green levies were needed, the Prime Minister told a packed Commons he was determined to reduce them “one way or another”. […] Measures are now expected in the autumn statement in December to reduce the impact of environmental levies on fuel bills. Labour MPs jeered the Prime Minister, believing that he has been pushed to act due to Mr Miliband’s conference pledge to freeze energy bills. It comes 24 hours after former Prime Minister Sir John Major called for a windfall tax on energy companies to fund support for low-income families. Mr Cameron told MPs: “We need to roll back some of the green regulations and charges that are putting up bills.” The Lib-Dems have previously vowed to prevent any fall in green levies during this Parliament. […]”

In an email from somebody I shall just refer to as General Mayhem, there was this startling news – “[…] has just come back from a conference where someone from DECC let slip that ECO is dead in the water.” ECO – the Energy Company Obligation – an instrument that is designed to use Government funds to pay for energy companies to make energy efficiency improvements to the homes of low-income families.

General Mayhem also had this to say :-

“Whilst Cameron is now desperately trying to con the public into believing that cuts to energy ‘taxes’ won’t affect support for fuel poverty and have nothing to do with ensuring we can pay EDF for Hinckley C.”

Ah yes, this is the same week that a massive UK Government announcement about nuclear power was made – with initial calculations suggesting that the guaranteed price for the electricity of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could give EdF a billion pounds of profit a year.

Hmm. We can afford to support expensive atomic energy, but we cannot seem to find the money to insulate the homes of poor people.

Nuclear 1 : Insulation 0.

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