The Curmudgeon


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inflation Finds Work For Idle Consumers

The Secretary for Sustainable Uranium, Chris Huhne, has made a rather pitiful attempt to pose as a friend of the ordinary energy consumer. In the face of double-figure price increases by Scottish Power, Huhne adopted the line of a parent urging his child to stand up to the school bully and try for a broken neck instead of just a bruise or two. "Consumers don't have to take price increases lying down," he said. "If an energy company hits you with a price increase, you can hit them back where it hurts - by shopping around and voting with your feet", when you're not busy devoting every waking minute to the job-search and the local voluntary organisation of fire-fighting librarians, of course.

Since we live in a market economy, Scottish Power naturally has competitors, all of whom plan to hit Scottish Power where it hurts by raising their prices in line with Scottish Power's. The Government is vaguely worried that this might be seen as not playing the game of corporate cut and thrust entirely to the hilt; indeed, from certain angles it looks startlingly like co-operation for mutual benefit, as in Daveybloke's Big Society thingy. However, George the Progressively Regressive has finally discovered that putting prices up can have an effect on inflation and has evidently sent Danny Alexander with a note ordering Huhne to make some sort of show at being concerned. "Right now, only one in five people switch suppliers. I want to see more switching, more competition and more companies in the market," Huhne lectured. Aside from consumers not being professional enough, "the big six only have a few minnows snapping at them, who are kept artificially small. By scrapping red tape for small players they can become serious challengers and help keep bills down"; whereupon they will be taken over by their larger competitors, their tariffs adjusted in line with market forces, and the rest digested down to their brand names.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home