The cost of living in England continues to increase at an alarming rate. This week British householders faced devastating news that not only are energy prices set to soar but council tax bills are also on the rise. As if to rub salt into the wound, Centrica (the company that owns British Gas – the nations largest energy provider) announced record profits just days after announcing the biggest rise to date in energy costs. If Centrica’s profits are so good, surely they should pass some of their good fortune onto their loyal customers? Apparently not. The excuse being given is that demand for gas can no longer be met by the North Sea fields and wholesale costs of European imported gas have increased.
The rise in council tax has been blamed on the growing demand of council’s resources, i.e. caring for the elderly, rubbish collection, etc, which hasn’t been covered by government funding. I was reading in the newspaper that Local Government Minister Phil Woolas was pleased that most councils had held down tax rises below five per cent. He also stated, “I realise that for some people on fixed incomes without access to council tax benefit. It is a squeeze.” He has no idea and like a lot of government ministers in this country today, is out of touch with the ordinary people. Even the Tories and Liberal Democrats have condemned the increase in council tax.
With costs of water, petrol and public transport also set to rise, it seems like everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. As the cost of life’s essentials goes through the roof, everyone in England is left wondering when it is all going to end.
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