This crux is this: a private company has to satisfy its shareholders every year by increasing profits. If British Gas had failed to raise prices, it is unlikely it would have been able to post that 3pc boost. It simply wouldn\’t have done to make the same profit as last year, as it might have been interpreted as an end to growth. The reaction on the market would have been disastrous, should the company have posted declining profits. That\’s the way capitalism works. We can\’t have it both ways.
There\’s absolutely nothing at all in the design, theory or practice of capitalism that demands ever rising profits.
Sure, it\’s nice, but it\’s simply not an essential feature of the system. It doesn\’t require perpetual rowth, it doesn\’t require ever rising profits in general or ay any one company.
Capitalism is simply an economic system whereby ownership of productive assets is vested in those with the capital. And that\’s about it really.
What might get people confused is that capitalism (and more so, free markets) leads to rising profits as the capitalists seek them and invest for them, this bringing on the higher and perpetual growth. But this is an outcome of the system, not an essential feature necessary to make the system work.