Fuel Poverty for Many Households; & COMMENT DEBATE YOUR LETTERS TO THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF WALES

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

Fuel Poverty for Many Households; & COMMENT DEBATE YOUR LETTERS TO THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF WALES


| SIR - Your correspondent Brian Hayes (Letters, May 14) has suggested that the proposed PS30bn to finance the Severn Barrage could be spent more wisely, even though it is claimed it would be able to produce 5% of the UK's electricity power for the next 100 years.

He touches on many relevant points in his letter but I would suggest that, in common with other commentators, he misses the most important one - that our power generation is slipping further out of our hands and hence our control.

It is a complex situation that has arisen from the days of nationalisation of the basic infrastructure and industries through the days of manipulation of the workforce by union leaders for their own political ends, culminating with the privatisation policies of the 1980s.

The final nail in the coffin was the dropping of the clause by the emerging "New Labour" putting on their new wolf's clothing to gain power.

The ownership and control of our infrastructure, electricity generation, water supply and distribution etc is as vital to the people as the defence of the realm.

While they were not very well managed resources while in public ownership, nevertheless they were ours. No foreign country could decide what we paid for our electricity, gas or water but if we go on as we are that is what will happen as free markets will not prevail but vested interests take over.

Let us take, for example, two simple cases in the electricity generation close to us in Wales.

EDF, the French state-controlled nuclear power group want to build two reactors at Hinkley Point just across the Channel, but before agreeing to do it want to be guaranteed a price for the output for 40 years at twice the current market price: ie PS95-PS100 per megawatt hour and this is just the start.

A similar situation is arising with the output from the Severn Barrage where the current proposal will only go ahead if the foreign financiers get a guaranteed high price comparable to that of the nuclear industry. …

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