Taking a closer look at energy

The fall in the value of the pound has put more on the price of petrol than Government fuel taxes, yet nobody seems to want to talk about it.

In the 1960s Prime Minister Harold Wilson devalued the pound and there was uproar.

Now we are facing ongoing devaluation and consequential inflation. Financial experts are saying that we are at risk of a large-scale devaluation.

Sterling trails only Japan’s Yen as the worst performer against a basket of international currencies this year as a 4.5 per cent decline has pushed up import prices and pushes up the cost of food, insurance and other necessities for households.

This approach was followed by Japan over the last decade as a way out of their economic difficulties and it has failed miserably. We are in danger of copying them.

In particular we are vulnerable to the costs of oil, gas and coal. All three keep going up and it is the value of the pound that is particularly hurting.

We could do more to protect ourselves, but for the last thirty years we have not bothered. I have called for gas storage facilities to be built in Parliamentary debates more than once.

I was unsuccessful and now we find that we have only three days of gas stored at any one time. Germany stores thirty days worth.

I argued against cheap coal imports, but more flood in and during the last month Daw Mill and Maltby Collieries have both closed, halving our domestic coal production.

Some people might not like coal, but we still rely on it more than any other form of energy for our electricity production.

Only Thoresby and Kellingley are now mining coal underground, making us far more vulnerable to devaluation than before.

A plan to re-open a few coal mines would be economically sensible. As for oil, we remain as reliant as ever on the Saudis for our oil, but we are competing with China, India and Brazil, which means the price will only go one way.

I keep banging on about solar panels and ground source heat pumps, but the price of household energy will also keep going up.

We are hostage to foreign powers and rising world demand. Whoever is brainy enough to develop alternatives will be laughing in the future.

These options are already available and especially for pensioner bungalows they will do the trick.

Every bungalow who wants them should be given solar panels in the national interest.

I have proposed a Bedroom Tax for MPs on expenses. This is on top of my proposed Limousine Tax, where I would tax Government Ministers for their free use of taxpayer funded and chauffeur driven cars to get home on a night. After all, I thought we were all in this together?

I remember the size of the houses that many MPs claimed on for their second home.

Taxpayers paid for second, third and fourth bedrooms. You also paid for duck houses with their own duck bedrooms.

I think a retrospective Bedroom Tax on MPs should be brought in to replace the Bedroom Tax hitting disabled people across Bassetlaw.

How can it be right for the Prime Minister to have claimed money from the taxpayer for empty bedrooms and then charge them on fathers wanting to have their children staying overnight?

It is like the CSA with knobs on and it will cause conflict in families at a time when their children need the maximum support.

The Bedroom Tax is not family friendly. In fact it is more likely to be family wrecking.