Nadia Whittome – 2022 Speech on the Energy Prices Bill

The speech made by Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, in the House of Commons on 17 October 2022.

This Government gambled with the markets and lost, and for what? To give their super-rich friends and donors massive tax cuts, and now working people are having to pay the price.

Just five days ago, the Prime Minister argued that pensioners would suffer if her plans for a two-year energy price guarantee did not go ahead. This morning, the Chancellor cancelled that guarantee, saying that it would be

“irresponsible to continue exposing public finances”

and that he would take

“whatever tough decisions are necessary”.

Why is it that those “tough decisions” are always paid for by working-class people and not by the wealthiest?

The United Kingdom is already one of the most unequal countries in the global north, second only to the United States in the G7, 3.9 million children live in poverty and many more are on the brink. Making the situation worse, not just in recent weeks but over the last 12 years—now that is irresponsible! The response to this crisis should be to tax the rich. If the Chancellor wants to balance the books, why does he not impose a windfall tax on the energy giants which are set to make up to £170 billion in excess profits over the next two years? Would it by any chance have something to do with the fact that the Conservative party has taken £1.3 million from fossil fuel interests since the last election? This is a Government who serve the energy corporations that are raking in massive profits and trashing our planet, and not the millions of people who cannot afford to pay their bills and rent or to buy food. We are in a rudderless boat that is sinking, the Prime Minister has no authority or credibility and, after yet another U-turn, only one thing is certain, and that is that this Government are finished.