Harlow MP Robert Halfon pledges help for most vulnerable as energy bills set to soar
News / Wed 10th Aug 2022 am31 07:31am
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has pledged that there is and will be help for the vulnerable as they face vast increases in their energy bills this autumn and winter.
YH sat down with the MP and gave him the opportunity to details the financial state of the country and then discuss what help the government had given.
Listening to Mr. Halfon you would think he and his disgraceful government haven't been in power for the last 12 years. I am surprised he didn't quote the "note in the Treasury" [circa 2010] rubbish again. But he is "working hard for Harlow and the people of Harlow," isn't he? [answers on an email please]
With the background Robert has outlined, do we really think that a new PAH will be built any time soon? Why spend hundreds of millions on infrastructure just to accommodate the building of thousands of homes around Harlow, on a bus lane from the town centre to the rail station, indeed even on a new bus station? With the financial crisis about to be faced by most households the government needs to give this the highest priority when it comes to spending our money.
No mention of the massive profits the energy companies are making. (This in war time would arguably be called “profiteering”!) No mention of the fact that one of the reasons we are now paying so much on the spot market for gas is because the Conservative Government closed down gas storage facilities in 2017. (So as to save money!). We know there is a problem! We know that average heating and lighting bills are predicted to go to over £4000 per annum! We know the support offered so far is massively insufficient as it fails to keep up with the fuel price rises. What we urgently need to know is what the government is going to do about it. We also need to know what the local authorities and voluntary sector will be doing to support vulnerable people during the winter months, particularly during any very cold months, for as yet there is no obvious plan!
He's a backbencher so in who's authority is he making these promises on? The most likely leadership contest winner is promising only a meagre tax cut and no other help. Load of rubbish arse-covering to avoid awkward questions at constituency surgeries, no doubt.
The government cannot do much at all about the current situation now as it is a global one. Having said that the big mistake we in the west make( this goes for most parties in western countries) is we don’t think we are at war and fail to protect our critical interests. War never ends it just has different levels, but you should always approach international dealings with a war mentality. Its how Russia and China have manoeuvred us in the west into the situation we find ourselves in. If governments took a security approach instead of cost approach to a lot of things, we would find ourselves better off in the long term. Too much short term thinking going on, and this will always make matters worse.
Are you worried, concerned or just broken by the ineptitude of politics today. We have a Conservative party who lie, cheat and deceive and a Labour party trying to match them. No policy agenda just slogans and soundbites. Taxes lowered or taxes raised: take your pick and if not any of them we have others. And in the meantime this country is rotting away from the inside and that is dangerous for a stable population just wanting to live rather than survive. In six years after six years of war in Europe we had a leader and government determined to give this country that stability and radical progress that people wanted. No slogans, no deception just social change for the benefit of all. Sadly no political leader today could lick their boots. Despair, depression, and destitution are rife today and with it getting worse. Civil unrest: I suspect it will happen but only when apathy is overtaken by hunger and cold!
What planet is Mr Halfon on? ‘I campaigned for the windfall tax’ he says. Yet when a vote on it came to Parliament he voted against it. ‘The government is spending £37bn to help with the cost of living crisis’. That figure rings a bell, it’s exactly the same amount of money wasted on a test and trace system that didn’t work. Without that inept behaviour the government could be spending twice that to help out now. It’s telling that the Cost of Living crisis is third on his list of priorities. I understand the Covid debt will impact interest rates but had it been treated, as the interviewer suggests, in the same way as wartime borrowing, we would be in a better position. His second priority is roads and education. These have been neglected for over a decade and are not in their current state due to Covid, they are a direct result of disastrous cuts to local government over the past 12 years from the central government that he supports. Finally he gets to the cost of living crisis. This is the main priority of every resident to whom I have spoken. Get a grip and listen to your constituents Mr Halfon, you might just learn something. It looks like he’s already backed the losing horse in the Tory leadership race and the likely winner, Liz Truss, doesn’t seem to have a clue how, or if, she will do anything. Meanwhile the government sits on its hands and does nothing while people fall deeper into debt and worry about paying bills and feeding their families. He is sure the new government in September will have some answers, sadly I and many others do not share that optimism. It’s too late, we do not have time to wait. Every day I meet residents who are deeply concerned about the situation and are desperate to know what help they will get. Four weeks may not seem long for Mr Halfon to wait, it’s a lifetime for far too many of his constituents. We need action now, his blasé attitude is just not good enough.
As well as a Windfall Tax on Energy Giants we also need to tax multi-millionaires and billionaires as they have become increasingly richer despite the rest of us being battered financially again and again by this government. Let those who can pay without any detriment to their lifestyle pay.
I was going to write on here about windfall tax implementation but Denise’s comment above sums my thoughts exactly. I also believe retrofitting homes, solar power, heat pumps, tidal power would reduce costs for people and lead us away from reliance on gas and oil. With BP alone hitting profits of £6.9 billion in April. The combined profit for the 5 biggest giants quarterly coming in around £50 billion. I’m a bit baffled why Ofgem are raising the price cap to £4226 per household. Am I missing something? Average income in the Uk being £26k less tax it’s clear to me millions will be dropped straight into poverty, the government giving hand outs is surely not the answer. There’s something horribly wrong with our society for this to happen. I predict mass protests and refusal to pay. There’s only so much people will take
Why are we talking about windfall taxes, the solution to this entire mess it is to drop net zero and drop the green taxes and levies. It is that simple we do not need more taxes on anyone we need less taxes, less government help and many less interfering politicians
There are two things about this interview which disturb me. One is that Robert Halfon seems to continually confuse the debt and the interest, it’s unclear whether he’s talking about paying interest, which is surely a contractual obligation, or paying back the debt. If it’s the latter, where’s the money going to come from. We’re continually told that the Government’s money comes from taxpayers, if that’s true, surely paying back the debt means more tax. Confusing interest and debt doesn’t make him sound economically competent. The other more important thing is this all sounds like firefighting, it doesn’t seem to be a coherent strategy. For instance he’s talking about how to pay for energy, there’s nothing about how to make us more energy self-sufficient so that we can be in control of what we pay for energy. It’s dealing with the current crisis but saying nothing about the next one. This I think is partly because there is no coherent Tory philosophy . For politicians, the philosophy seems to be do whatever it takes to get elected, but once elected, if there is any philosophy at all it is an individual self-reliance. The problem is, any time of crisis occurs, which they do, rather than the government saying, as good Tories should, this is your problem, sort it out, if you can’t pay your energy bills find a way of reducing them yourself, this is not the governments problem, any time is a problem they just say, oh, here’s some money. That’s not a solution. I think the reason they always abandon what should be Tory philosophy is that it doesn’t work, human beings are not individually self-reliant, we do rely on each other, we rely on a wide range of skills and we rely on working together to solve problems which is why every time is a problem they abandon what should be there philosophy and adopt what looks closer to socialism. They constantly accuse the Labour Party of tax-and-spend yet what they do is spend and tax , they spent an inordinate amount of money on Covid and now they’re thinking, oh, how do we get that money back. It’s all just noise to distract us from their basic problems that they don’t know what they’re doing.
Robert, it is not just the vulnerable and those on benefits who need help, even those who work hard and pay their taxes need help too. Especially those families who over all house income is lest than £50.000 per year between each earner. £50.000 per year between two people might sound like a lot, it was a lot 25 year but not these days. Plus there are pensioners out there that need support with their energy bills too.