And everyone expected what?

Energy companies have been 
accused of behaving in an unfair and unreasonable way after raising prices before a proposed government price cap is introduced.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, warned that Theresa May’s flagship policy would drive up prices even higher by reducing competition.

However, the Conservatives will on Tuesday confirm that the energy price cap forms a key pledge in their forthcoming election manifesto.

Energy suppliers were accused of “milking” their customers after they quietly raised the price of their cheapest gas and electricity deals by as much as 37 per cent since Mrs May first threatened to intervene last year.

Why it is that people never, but never, consider that others have agency? That if I do this they will do that? That if government tries this then they will try that?

26 comments on “And everyone expected what?

  1. Energy companies have been accused of behaving in an unfair and unreasonable way after raising prices before a proposed government price cap is introduced.

    So the government wanted to screw over the shareholders but their management got their pre-emptive retaliation in first? I am not sure why I should care.

    Except to say that in a politicised economy what should be private decisions between consenting adults become political decisions debated in Parliament and corrupted for electoral ends.

  2. Raising prices before an energy cap is announced…

    Isn’t this what the Tories said would happen when Miliband floated a similar proposal.

  3. As a Centrica shareholder, I approve this message.

    My dear old mum used to say that one of the most important questions in the language was “what if?” She applied it whenever other people (with agency, as Tim says) might become involved in the consequences of her decisions. “If I do X, what if they do Y?” was the basic template, and it served her extremely well, not least in the solid and lasting success of her business.

    She had no time for politicians either, and reserved her juiciest and most amusing execrations for the incompetent ideologues collectively known as the Labour Party.

  4. May is thick and arrogant.

    She is the only Brexit game in town so for this one occasion that will do.

    But nothing much can be expected of her in general.

    She is dim, well-off, middle class, cultural Marxist, London Bubble BluLabour scum.Just like Camoron in truth.

    Everyone voting for her should write a letter to 10 Donkey St and tell her that no Brexit sell-out will be tolerated and the rest of her policies are crap as well. And make it clear the Dindustan Express MUST be permanently de-railed regardless of whatever dumb ideas May might have.

    Millions of letters from individuals (not 50000 activists writing 100 letters each left-style) WILL have a salutary effect on political scum.

  5. “And make it clear the Dindustan Express MUST be permanently de-railed regardless of whatever dumb ideas May might have”

    Get ready for the old bait and switch followed by a familiar feeling of disappointment. She already wheeled out the recycled line about tens of thousands. Don’t expect any real effort from her in terms of doing what you actually want.

  6. Mr Ecks – and she may prove as effective as PM as Thatcher was.
    Much to the annoyance of some.

  7. Conservative government brings in price controls designed to limit political impact of price increases caused by conservative government policy.

    No wonder Labour is dead.

  8. > So the government wanted to screw over the shareholders

    The incidence is partly on shareholders; but I think the intention was also to screw over the 1/3rd of households who are on cheap tariffs, in favour of the 2/3rds who are on standard variable tariffs. That’s just politics.

  9. Has there ever been in the history of the world an instance where a price cap has NOT led to shortages?

    So now we will not only have an increasingly expensive, increasingly unreliable energy supply infrastructure, but one with added rationing.

    The energy suppliers should make a list of all the various government interventions in the energy market and publicize it widely.

    Probably won’t do any good but at least it would be out there.

  10. Has there ever been in the history of the world an instance where a price cap has NOT led to shortages?

    So now we will not only have an increasingly expensive, increasingly unreliable energy supply infrastructure, but one with added rationing.

    The energy suppliers should make a list of all the various government interventions in the energy market and publicize it widely.

    (Trying again since comment disappeared)

  11. > No wonder Labour is dead.

    For many it’s just a matter of competence. Nobody in the party seems to have a clue what they’re doing.

    Their big story this week was clamping down on junk food ads on TV, to prevent childhood obesity. Leaving aside the spurious link between the two, do kids still even watch broadcast TV these days? As far as I’m aware they’re all glued to their smartphones.

    The other big announcement was the scrapping of parking charges at NHS hospitals. Even NHS workers admit that the car parks will be filled by employees by 8am; traffic will be a nightmare; and patients arriving throughout the day won’t get a look in.

    Labour supporters say we should look beyond Comrade Jezza’s idiosyncratic personality and consider matters of policy instead. But if their two big policy announcements are anything to go by, the lack of competence is widespread.

  12. I´m with Ecksie on this one.

    May is shocking. Straight out of the Venezuela handbook.

    if you want to intervene in the price of power, authorise fracking and the building of gas power stations. The energy independence is a nice additional factor.

    Here we have a so-say conservative government giving cash to young under 35 year olds to ‘enable them to buy a flat’.

    What could possibly go wrong? Any guesses?

  13. Timmy, you make the mistake of assuming that the policy is intended to reduce energy prices for people.

    What will be interesting is whether it works in its real intention of winning votes.

    I’d hope not personally; it’s a slippery slope with Venezuela at the bottom.

    But we should remember that May is a conservative politician, with the emphasis on the politician rather than the conservative.

    I’d love to know if she and her advisors are cynical enough to buy votes in this manner; at least it would mean they aren’t dumb enough to actually believe the policy.

  14. If they want to keep fuel prices down the fist thing to do is repeal the Climate Change Act to remove the renewable energy constraints on energy companies. If they want to continue to make a nod to the Gerbil Worming religion, then put something at least economically credible in its place.

    Next thing to get rid of is the smart meter fiasco. Those two actions would give the energy industry a lot more confidence. Oh, and more fracking please!

  15. Another thought. If this is pure electioneering, then perhaps it’ll all get kicked into the long grass after the election when they have a thumping majority. But I’m not holding my breath:(

  16. ‘Conservatives will on Tuesday confirm that the energy price cap’

    Conservative and price cap in the same sentence?

  17. Martin:

    ” and she may prove as effective as PM as Thatcher was.
    Much to the annoyance of some.”

    Well Thatcher was 80% talk and did loads of dumb stuff. So May is already living up to that side of Marg’s legacy,

    Dress -Up is exactly who I said she is above. She has thrown in with Brexit for the popular edge. That is as deep as it goes. Assuming–and I really am not–that she doesn’t shaft over Brexit (prob because the nasty Eurotrash will leave her no choice but the hard way) everything else she does will be out of Camoron’s “Handbook for Marxian Toffs”.

  18. When will there be a cap on tax which impacts us a lot more than power prices.

    Also if government is forcing price hikes on power firms for things like wind then the power companies should start making this a separate item on the list to show consumers where the costs come from.

  19. I’m starting to think it’s time to buy a UPS for my computer equipment and the freezer.

  20. “I’d hope not personally; it’s a slippery slope with Venezuela at the bottom.”

    Venezuela isn’t at the bottom yet.

    “Conservative and price cap in the same sentence?”

    American Democrats are too conservative to get elected in Blighty. At this point I suspect even our Communist party is to far right.

  21. Matthew L +1

    This really grinds my gears. And the worst thing is there isn’t even the need for it as a vote winner. Credit enough of the population with some common sense FFS.

  22. This is a moronic policy. But condemning May (or more likely her adviser, Nick Timothy) for being stupid makes no sense. I think the reasoning must be that when tested against focus groups, it boosts May’s credibility with C2DE voters who previously voted UKIP/Labour. And it wont put off anyone else who was going to vote Tory.

  23. By that logic we should all vote labor because their stupid ideas are just placating special interests for more votes.

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