Labour’s £600 energy windfall tax vote is preposterous political posturing

Starmer is telling households ‘We’ll save you a third off your 126% bill increase!’ while thousands will die this winter

Credit: Bywire News, Canva
Credit: Bywire News, Canva
Bywire - Claim your free account nowBywire - Claim your free account now

LONDON (Bywire News) - On Tuesday May 17 Labour is tabling a vote in parliament about a windfall tax on energy companies. It’s over the huge increase in prices – with the party’s plan being to give every household £600 towards their bills. Problem is, though, the math just doesn’t add up – because it would barely touch the sides of many families’ finances, making Labour’s move utterly insulting.

Labour: here’s 37% off your £1,622 increase

Before the April price increase, the average energy bill was around £1,278 a year. By October 2022, this will have gone up by a staggering 126% - to around £2,900. This more than two-fold increase in just six months dwarves Labour’s £600 rebate offer – that being just 37% of the overall £1,622 increase. 

It knows this – and firstly is clearly trying to look as ‘economically competent’ as possible, by not offering too much. 

Like Jeremy Corbyn’s “broadband communism”, if Keir Starmer looked to force the government to suck-up the entire cost of the energy price increase his credibility with the political and media class would be shot. Can’t have the best interests of poor people outweighing those of the richest and his own career now, can we?

Laying cover for the Tories 

But this dogshit approach then only serves two purposes. Firstly, it actually gives cover to the Tories. £600 will do little to keep the poorest households out of fuel poverty. In April this year with the first 54% increase, 62% of the most destitute families were already in “fuel stress” (a rebranded version of fuel poverty). Come October, this figure will hit 80%. 

The point is, that £600 will still leave 62% of the poorest households in dire straits. If (and that’s a big ‘if’) the Tories voted in favour of Labour’s windfall tax, they would be able to say ‘Look! We listened and helped’ – when actually they’ve barely helped the poorest people at all. This batshittery from Labour could actually work in the Tories’ favour. 

Labour: like a shit plumber about to fleece you

Secondly and ultimately though, the party is effectively sucking air through its teeth like a shit British Gas plumber and saying:

Well, look: we can’t do anything about it, but here’s a bit of cash so your bill will only really go up by 80%’. 

This is utterly useless and a blatant act of subservience to the corporate capitalist energy markets and companies which are making an absolute fortune - while potentially thousands of people in the UK will die of fuel poverty this winter. 

Risible political performance art

Back in winter 2019, around 8,500 people were killed due to cold homes and government inaction. Now, in winter 2022 this figure is likely to be far greater - due to corporate greed and political subservience to it. 

Labour’s offer is simply not good enough. And it knows it. Every MP in parliament supporting this nonsense should be ashamed. Because saying nothing at all would be better than this pathetic and risible piece of political performance art.  

(Writing by Steve Topple, editing by Klaudia Fior)

Bywire will email you from time to time with news digests, stories & opportunities to get involved. Privacy

Bywire - Claim your free account nowBywire - Claim your free account now