London, 18 November – Medieval medical treatments were often counterproductive, bleeding and weakening patients when they needed their strength most, administering toxic emetics when the body required nutrition to recover after illness.
The Autumn Statement released yesterday by the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is similar in its ill-advised and dangerous prescriptions.
High energy costs due to unilateral climate and Net Zero policies imposed since the early 2000s have resulted in a strong price-rationing effect, with total energy consumption falling by 30% since that time, back to levels last seen in the 1950s, in spite of a rising population.
Electricity consumption, the very index of a modern and prosperous society, has fallen by over 20% since 2005 and is now at levels last seen in the late 1980s.
The United Kingdom’s economy is desperately ill, but our government, like a Medieval quack doctor, is increasing taxes, particularly energy taxes, and forcing our households and businesses to buy yet more super-expensive renewable energy, and has done nothing to reduce the crushing £7 billion a year burden of supporting wind and solar via the Renewables Obligation.
To make matters still worse the Chancellor has announced a 23% increase Transport Fuel Duty. The OBR comments that
“the planned 23 per cent increase in the fuel duty rate in late-March 2023 adds £5.7 billon to receipts next year. This would be a record cash increase, and the first time any Government has raised fuel duty rates in cash terms since 1 January 2011. It is expected to raise the price of petrol and diesel by around 12 pence a litre.” —OBR November Fiscal Outlook, para 61
Fuel Duty already adds £25 billion a year to the cost of transport in the UK, making it perhaps the most severe anti-growth tax currently poisoning the British economy. Tax accounts for about 45 to 50% of the pump price. In a time of severe economic disturbance the Chancellor should have cut Fuel Duty not increased it.
Dr John Constable, Energy Director at Net Zero Watch, said:
It seems that the government does not understand how deeply dangerous and economically damaging taxes on energy are. By increasing the cost of energy, particularly transport fuel, Mr Hunt has poisoned any prospect of economic recovery.”