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Dear Uncle Kropotkin,
How the fuck am I going to pay my gas bill?
TLDR: You’re not
The total absence of any kind of tax on the ballooning profits of the energy companies in the recent budget shows anyone still not on the class war ticket exactly where the battle lines have been drawn.
Social media is awash with money-saving tips: get your meter readings in by April 1st; light some candles under a flowerpot; dry your socks on the radiator at your local library (if you can find one that’s still open). These are all well and good but they’re only going to get us so far. If we want food on the table and the heating on then something a bit more drastic is needed.
The big six energy supply firms in the UK banked £7 billion in profits in the last five years. The oil and gas giants BP and Shell have made £12.8 and $19.29 billion profits respectively. We’ve all had to foot that bill.
With a 54% increase in the price cap coming down the pipeline next month, we’re all looking at having to sacrifice the basics in life in order just to make sure the boys at the top of the pyramid don’t have to put up with an inferior grade of caviar in business class. This is nothing to do with global gas price rises and everything to do with private profits.
A windfall tax on energy companies is a nice idea, but the Tories have made it clear that they have no intention of taxing their mates (and even if they did, do you honestly think any of it would end up in your pocket?). If we’re going to get through the next winter, ordinary people are going to have to act for themselves.
So forget Martin Lewis, here’s a real money-saving tip (given away gratis because we’re anarchists and we’re nice like that).
Can’t pay, won’t pay (yet):
The gutsiest move would be a mass refusal to pay and/or jumping meters. However, a writer for a respectable publication such as Freedom couldn’t possibly encourage such legally dubious actions.
The proposal is mass foot-dragging. Most of us aren’t on prepay meters and pay in arrears, which gives us a chance to milk the companies for all their worth. The first step is to cancel your direct debit. On April 1st, tell your energy company, by phone or email to bill you directly. Then wait. When the bill arrives tell them you’ll need time to pay; your supplier can’t cut you off without warning. This handy guide from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau lets you know the way the whole process will go.
The great thing about this is that you can push this as far as you feel comfortable, either go the whole hog and defy the bailiffs or just pay up at 28 days knowing you’ve struck a blow and caused a bit of inconvenience to the money-grubbing bastards at the top.
Talk to your friends and neighbours about not paying. Ask yourself (and others) “Why should we pay for their profits?” Let’s try and make this big and bring the government to the table so that we can put food on ours.