Owen Jones clashes with Jeremy Vine panelist over energy crisis
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Owen Jones has clashed furiously with Jeremy Vine panellist on energy crisis, saying that “the government needs to intervene, this is partly a story of market failure”. On the other hand, journalist Lucy Beresford believed that we should not “give in” to the companies asking for a raise on the energy price cap to protect consumers and energy poverty. The heated debate came as Boris Johnson’s government is holding talks with energy regulator Ofgem about whether a cap on gas and electricity prices for consumers may have to go up.
Speaking on the Jeremy Vine show on Five, Owen Jones said: “This is a story of private profiteering companies I’m afraid, who are making an absolute PAC out of this, who bet the house on gas price energy.
Ms Beresford chipped in: “That’s exactly not happening because the companies are saying they want the energy cap to be raised, because they’re not able to actually make their money.
“So in a funny way, the government because they’ve got that cap in place, which is really protecting consumers and making sure that there isn’t energy poverty.
“Actually, that needs to stick.
“I don’t think we should try to give in to the companies who are saying ‘no we need that energy cap to be raised’.
“Because what they are saying is the energy companies that have still survived are saying ‘we’re not prepared to take on any of these new consumers’ og the companies that have gone bust’.
“‘We’re not gonna make any money’, and it is a conservative government that is saying that.”
Owen Jones chipped in: “This is the problem. Because we have a fragmented and privatised system that’s about profit rather than customer’s needs.
“That’s where we end up in this situation–they need dividends for their shareholders.
“If we had a publicly run company.. “
Ms Beresford interjected: “Then we go back to the 19th century..”
Mr Jones said: “I don’t think publicly owned energy in the 1970s was a cause of problems either. I don’t think anyone’s ever argued that by the way.”
Jeremy Vine chipped in: “You couldn’t get stuff fixed.”
Mr Jones continued: “In other countries, like France, they have publicly run energy companies, which ironically then start buying up our energy industries, incidentally, which works to a far better standard than our own.
“What we should have is natural monopoly.”
Ms Beresford said: “We don’t need to nationalise everything.”
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