The news media here has been featuring the rising costs of everything since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago. Prices of Gas and Electricity have risen sharply, in most cases by well over 100% on the previous year. They are set to rise again this week, followed by more rises in late October, and again in January 2023.
Trying to appear compassionate (that’s a laugh) the Conservative government announced a series of payments to every user to help pay for the increases. They began with a £150 per household rebate on Council Tax, and will soon be adding an additional £300, more for the unemployed and others living on benefits. They are also increasing the Pensioners’ Winter Fuel Allowance, a one-off annual payment that I qualify for because of my age.
I am not fooled by this apparent ‘generosity’ of the current government. They are trying to limit the damage of Boris Johnson’s shameful legacy, and they are well-aware there is a General Election in 2024. We also know that members of parliament’s own fuel bills can be paid for by the taxpayers, if claimed on expenses. (And most make those claims.)
Also, perhaps shamed by its obscene profits, the major gas supply company British Gas is donating 10% of those profits to be shared out to its customers.
But one cost of living increase that almost never gets a mention is Heating Oil. (Kerosene) In rural areas and small villages all over Britain, there is no Mains Gas supply. This leaves those of us living in those areas with three options.
Like many surrounding villages, most houses in Beetley rely on heating oil, stored in large tanks on the property. This fuel heats our water and runs the central heating. The price fluctuates on the world market, and like all other energy sources, it is currently increasing. Before Russia attacked Ukraine, I could buy 500 litres of oil for a reasonable £230. I have just ordered some to be delivered today, and the cost will be £480. That’s a huge price increase in a six-month period.
However, despite the fact that over 1,500,000 homes rely on heating oil in the UK, it has not been mentioned in any rebate scheme.
Another industry cashing in on the excuse of the war in Ukraine, and more profts for the friends of government ministers.