Most people in this country are without doubt very worried by the recent decision of the gas industry to increase gas prices by 18% in the next year. This will without doubt cause a great deal of hardship and even disaster for poor people and ordinary working class people in this country.
Gas prices increased by 7% in the previous year 2010 and British Gas profits have increased by 24% in the last year. So the case for gas price increases on the scale proposed by the gas industry are to say the least dubious.Ofgem the organisation that regulates the gas industry seems to be totally ineffective. Just stating that it may refer the price inceases to the competition commission.
What makes me angry is that people are told to search the internet for bargains to see which companies are offering the better deal. Most people just do not have the time to do this and are not prepared to put up with the bother of changing gas companies.Besides a friend of mine has told me that there is very little difference between the prices of the different gas companies. So the case for the original privatization of the gas industry appears to have gone out of the window as the industry appears to be a single monopoly in reality.
I feel that as gas and heating are a large part of the finances of working class people and senior citizens then a case must be made for taking the gas industry back into some form of public ownership. I feel we need possibly to avoid the old bureaucratic nationalisation. But I feel we need some form of municipal control of the industry.Like there was in the late 19th and early 20th century.So I would argue the case for municipal controlled gas companies.
We need to back this public control of the gas industry with a massive programme of insulating properties for damp and fitting double glazing windows. Urgent action is clearly needed and if next winter if it is a cold winter it could be very financially difficult for lower income people in this country.