A one-off £400 discount on energy bills will be too little, too late to offset vast price rises, middle-class families have said.

Homeowners have told Telegraph Money that they cannot afford to wait until the autumn to receive a penny from the Chancellor’s £15bn cost of living support package announced on Thursday.

Previously households stood to benefit from a £200 energy bills loan, but this sum has now been doubled and will not have to be repaid.

Subsidising demand in a time of dearth might not be the most sensible thing ever. To put it mildly.

‘£400 won’t touch the sides – the squeezed middle class needs £4,000’

Also, the middle class might like £4k but they don’t need it.

20 thoughts on “Rishi’s error”

  1. Sometimes, I think government policy is based on some sort of competition like on Swap Shop or Blue Peter where kids are asked to send in a postcard with the stupidest fucking policies that guarantee to cause inflation, shortages and general economic and societal collapse.

    Each week Boris, Khan. sturgeon and that Welsh bloke pull the winners out of a Mini Metro’s boot and implement it without any further consideration.

  2. You’re right Otto.

    If the problem is really dire, the immediate abolition of sanctions on Russia and Iran, the immediate start of fracking, the abolition of subsidies the windmills and solar panels——-

    But I’ve said all this before.

  3. Funny. Two years ago everyone was screaming that we should throw everything at covid, the economy be damned. So the government did that.
    Now that we have a damned economy people are screaming about that.

  4. . . . the immediate abolition of sanctions on Russia and Iran, the immediate start of fracking . . .

    The former will preclude the latter.

  5. PJF – not nececelery.

    Fracking would take a few years to ramp up all the drilling, infrastructure, etc. Could be made financially viable in the face of cheap Slav gas using some of the magic windmill subsidies. But I reckon Europe is better off building a load of next generation nuclear instead. Mini reactors have a similar implementation timescale and will reliably work for decades, we can import uranium from our pals in the Anglosphere.

    Russian oil and gas is needed now, looks like it’s going to be an unbelievably hard winter for Europe/the UK and there’s no reason to believe things will go back to “normal” without cheap, reliable energy. Russia or Weimar Republic 2 are the only options
    short term.

    Unfortunately Europe is going for the Weimar 2 option, psyching themselves up to a total embargo. Unlike half of Europe, the UK is not dependent on Russian hydrocarbons, but we are at the mercy of wholesale prices, so the EU’s self-enfreezement and economic implosion will fuck us badly.

    In the meantime, you may have noticed the MSM has greatly reduced its coverage of the Ukrainian war. That’s because it’s not looking good for The Shining Beacon Of Democracy or its backers, and Russia stubbornly refuses to collapse despite Western intelligence repeatedly saying they would. Despite their own propaganda, Russia is definitely suffering from sanctions, but it was a dysfunctional shithole with low expectations to begin with, so it’s the West that’s suffering more.

    My advice: stock up on tins and essentials. Make sure you have a means to cook food if the leccy/gas goes off (those little hexamine stoves only cost a fiver). It’s what me and Mrs Steve are doing. Might, and hopefully will, prove to be unnecessary, but it can’t hurt to prepare.

  6. (those little hexamine stoves only cost a fiver)

    If you’re going to cook on hexy, make sure you’ve got plenty of ventilation. One of the byproducts of burning is hydrogen cyanide.

  7. There was blighter moaning in this morning’s Telegraph that she wouldn’t be able to afford to take her children on a half-term holiday. She implied that this would be a tragedy in terms of keeping-up-with-the-Joneses.

    Since I never had a half-term holiday in my school days my sympathy was rather muted. The cow really expects me to pay for a fucking holiday for her and her gets? Sod off, madam.

  8. Reminds me of my childhood during the Scargill/Thatcher thing and hearing a miner’s wife on my neighbour’s telly (we couldn’t afford one) saying “woe! woe! we can only take the kids on one holiday this year”.

  9. Rishi’s error is in continuing to levy taxes that he is then paying back, even if the cover is another tax on a different group. OR perhaps Rishi’s error is to continue to do nothing about the supply side issues, such as the continuing ban on fracking and coal extraction. Actually Rishi’s error was to go into politics!

  10. Steve, we’ll still need gas for dispatchable generation. Unless those small nukes can do that, but even if they can, over what timescale – seconds (for the Corrie half-time cuppa), or hours? Also little gennys have not much inertia – something you need to stop the frequency dropping like a stone when a chunk of generation goes offline. Also if the frequency wobbles, all the back yard turbines and solar farms immediately drop off the line because the rules say they must and they also do it for self-protection. In the grid wobbly a few summers ago nearly 1GW of that small stuff just went away. It must be much more than that now on a breezy sunny summer afternoon.

    I fail to understand why the Grid managers don’t push back on all this crap. Perhaps some do, and get elbowed out and we never hear about it and neither does Boris.

  11. My wife remembers that during the Scargill/Thatcher thing a miner’s wife complained that she was so skint she was having to feed him chops.

  12. “Subsidising demand in a time of dearth might not be the most sensible thing ever” – in fairness, distributing a lump sum to household is the least bad way to do this, isn’t it? Worse to change the marginal price by temporarily cutting tax on the scarce item or by directly subsidising the cost. In a sense the high price is useful because it signals the scarcity and discourages wasteful or less important consumption. High prices also make people poorer so you are going to need to help people out in some way if they’re going to go along with it, but lump sums distort things less than forms of assistance that alter marginal decisions.

    Javier Blas is a sound guy to follow on the energy and commodity markets and he’s been doing his nut over the number of western govs who’ve started subsidising energy consumption by various means, while at the same declaring their intent to sanction Russian energy even further. If the West is collectively serious about that, then it’s facing self-induced scarcity and in the short term it needs to manage its demand downwards. On the supply side, there’s not much that can be done short-term beyond releasing reserves. The longer term answers to reducing dependency on Russian oil/gas are on the energy supply side and decisions do need to be taken quickly on that front, but to start fracking or build more LNG terminals is going to take time. Building new nuclear power plants takes a lot of time.

  13. @Steve
    No, Fracking would take years is excuse politicians use to not end ban

    Fracking would be supplying gas to grid within 3 months and would then ramp up volume quite quickly. UK energy crisis started ~10 months ago. 7 months of UK fracked gas still banned, but importing fracked gas from US deemed preferable

    On EU, it appears we have signed up to their ‘all must suffer shortages’ law

    Ukrainian war: yep msm lies seem to be failing more by the day

    I think the msm reporting that Mariopul Azov were Evacuated was the turning point. Azov SS surrendered and are now PoWs

    @BiW
    +1 Hexy stoves are revolting, they taint what you’re cooking too

    @dearieme
    I never had a half-term holiday

    Same here, in fact my memory of half-term is Fri & Mon off, not a week or two

    Bloods spike in what?

  14. “my memory of half-term is Fri & Mon off, not a week or two”

    I obvs wasn’t clear enough. In thirteen years at school we never had any sort of break in the middle of a term. Terms ran mid-August to nearly Xmas; shortly after New Year until a bit before Easter; a bit after Easter to early July. So our school holidays were simply the Xmas, Easter, and Summer holidays.

    We knew the expression “half term” from reading school stories, and could easily guess its meaning (unlike those other mysterious expressions in school stories – fourth form, the Remove, Speech Day, Head Boy, …)

  15. @dearieme

    Looking back, you’re correct on GB. In NI we had a couple of days half-term around Halloween time which was when we burnt Guy too

    Not as much fun when fireworks banned, although one year young me (10 irc) smuggled some back in my teddy. On plane asked dad “Was that last security check?”, Yes, “Look at what’s in teddy”. I’d removed sticks from rockets and put them in suitcase

    Naugty me, but a good party & bonfire for friends that year inc an army officer and wife

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