How difficult is this country in itself now. Certainly, a tough winter is on the way for many households as high energy prices drive inflation and major industries struggle to deliver their services due to acute labor shortages.
The shelves of some supermarkets are as bare as they were in the early days of the pandemic, while gasoline is in short supply. I can smell the panic in the air.
Of course, one cannot just point fingers at the government. Some problems are hangovers from pandemics and lockdowns, some are the result of global issues beyond our control (for example, the world’s acute shortage of gas) while others (lack of labor supply) are a by-product of Brexit (we voted for it) so we can hardly complain).
Canny?: Surely Chancellor Rishi Sunak knows that announcing more tax hikes in his next budget would be a bad move
Yet all this makes the government’s decision to raise taxes (in the form of national insurance) next spring even more suspicious, when earlier this month Boris Johnson revealed details of a tax raid to restart the NHS. was announced.
Yes, food and petrol supply problems may well end in the coming weeks, but inflation is not going away – whatever the Bank of England bosses may say. With a tax hit on the wage packets of workers, household finances are going to come under immense pressure.
The harsh winter looks like turning into 2022. Now the time has come for us to finish everything.
As far as the government is concerned, it is taking a tough stand. Announcement of any further tax hike in next month’s budget will be a huge step. Surely, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is good enough to know that?
Competition is good but it can backfire
Competition is all well and good, but when a market is opened up to fraudsters and opportunists, it is inevitable that the move will backfire spectacularly at some stage, causing widespread consumer losses in the process.
That’s exactly what happened in the energy supply market. Although rising wholesale energy prices have recently been attributed to the failure of a range of ‘small’ energy suppliers, that does not explain the full picture.
Many of them should not have been allowed to enter the market in the first place. They were not fit for purpose.
The Mail on Sunday pointed to early 2019 when we looked at the financial integrity of some new suppliers – and visited their offices. What we discovered was disturbing.
Widespread financial inefficiency and no jobs for directors – purely to make a quick buck in it.
Interestingly, three of the five firms we examined (Toto Energy, Tonic Energy and Go Effortless) are no longer desperately seeking funding to stay the bulb away, while Leicester-based Outfox The Market ( Foxglove Energy Supply) has become very quiet.
Yes, rising wholesale energy prices have killed many suppliers, but an effective regulator would never have licensed them before.
The offgame must therefore take a share of the blame for the current carnage in the energy supply market, which will result in higher gas and electricity bills for all.
Fraud needs action
‘Government-coordinated action is needed in the form of a 30 percent increase in fraud losses.’ That was the headline last week in a press release by banking body UK Finance, following a rise in fraud.
fancy that? This is what The Mail on Sunday’s Nail the Scammers campaign has been calling for a long time. The time has come for the government’s plan to rid us of the financial crisis.
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