An interesting campaign is taking off in the UK that is attempting to stop the 6 major energy companies making obscene profits while people are dying of fuel poverty. The Independent is lending its support to the cause:
More than 5.5 million households are suffering under fuel poverty, many being forced to choose between heating or eating.
Meanwhile the Big Six energy suppliers increased their profit margins by 733 per cent in just three months last year. Enough is enough. Today The Independent supports a campaign to force energy companies to share their profits with the needy. The aim is simple: to make essential home energy affordable to all.
An estimated 3,000 winter deaths are caused every year by fuel poverty and as the winter chill really begins to hit home, with more snow and icy weather forecast for the next few days, it could be the worst time for the vulnerable, particularly the elderly.
The campaign, co-ordinated by pressure group Compass and backed by cross-party support from politicians, economists, civil society leaders, charities, religious leaders, celebrities and campaigners, aims to introduce a windfall tax on energy companies profits and to use the money raised to make homes energy efficient (and therefore reducing energy costs).
This type of concerted action involving multiple groups and individuals could be a good way of coercing government into substantive measures against corporations posting outrageous profits while people are suffering. If the campaign rasies enough awareness and shames the companies into action, we could see a new era of public collaboration against concentrated power that threatens society and the vulnerable.
It is clear that the Conservative government is not interested in halting widening inequality or stopping the corporate culture that encourages greed and the pursuit of profit at all costs. The public must take action, and with campaigns like this, we’re finally seeing it.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.