People’s Assembly on the streets on 12 February People’s Assembly on the streets on 12 February. Source: The People's Assembly

Reuben Bard-Rosenberg explains why the energy price cap lift will hit the worst off the hardest, and urges everyone to join the People’s Assembly on the streets on 12 February

On Thursday it was announced that household energy bills will rise by an average of £693 in April. This should fill us with rage.

This jump in prices will fall most heavily on the worst off. That’s partly because those on the lowest incomes spend the highest proportion of it on energy. And it’s partly because those with the least are least able to keep heat in their houses: two-bit tyrant landlords have near-absolute authority over how badly the homes they let out are insulated.

This comes on top of £20-a-week cuts to benefits. It comes amidst rising food prices. It comes as millions go into the pockets of energy company shareholders for the tremendous feat of sitting on their arses. Over the past twenty years, privatised energy companies have paid out eye-watering dividends, rather than investing the profits they cream off our bills into green, efficient energy infrastructure. That’s why our household energy bills are so heavily vulnerable to changes in the volatile prices of gas and oil.

And all of this falls upon millions who have made great sacrifices over the past two years. People who truncated their social and family lives, and risked their mental health, in order to control the disease, as they looked forward to better days. And now, at about the moment those better times were promised, we are told that all that “greater good” stuff was actually just for the lols, and should definitely not be mentioned when there’s money involved.

Do we continue to shiver in a land governed by wealth and for wealth, or do we stand up and fight? I say we do the latter. And step one is this. Join the People’s Assembly, and trade unions and community organisations from across the country in Parliament Square on Saturday 12 February to say: we will not pay for your crisis!

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Reuben Bard-Rosenberg

Reuben Bard-Rosenberg is a socialist activist and radical folk music promoter.