Unite delegate Professor Cecile Wright speaks out on the energy crisis
Unite delegate Professor Cecile Wright made a vital intervention in a debate on the climate crisis on Tuesday (September 27) of the Labour Party conference.
Cecile told conference that the climate crisis was inextricably linked with the current energy crisis, noting that “the Tories have produced a rigged market in the production and supply of gas, oil and electricity to homes and businesses”.
“We have been at the mercy of energy producers who set prices that benefit their shareholders,” she said. “Indeed, an investigation undertaken by Unite has established that Britain’s energy giants – in supply and distribution – have made £15.8bn in profits.”
Cecile highlighted that the UK’s ‘Big 4’ energy suppliers, including Centrica, E.On, EDF and ScottishPower, have “hit the jackpot”, having made profits of £9.5bn, up by 85 per cent since before the pandemic.
“This is scandalous,” she said. “This is outrageous profiteering.”
Cecile went on to note that those who have suffered most in the current crisis include “the poorest, the elderly, the disabled, the long-term ill, ethnic minorities, the low paid and large families”.
“All this is compounded by the Tories’ 12 years of austerity,” she added.
Cecile went on to highlight Labour’s windfall tax on super-profits, but added that this was “not enough to fix a broken system”.
“The Tories’ privatisation agenda has ended in tears,” she said. “We really hope that the forthcoming Labour government will take back into public control these large energy companies.”
By Hajera Blagg
Pic by Mark Thomas