East Lothian Courier – 24 November 2022


In Parliament last week I raised the issue of UK seafarers being laid off from an offshore wind farm just off our coast. The Minister seemed to be suggest that it wasn’t happening. But newspapers have confirmed that actually even more have been made redundant and in other ships.  

The Tory Government say they’ll end it but that’s too late for many and lessons should have been learnt from the P and O debacle. We must benefit from this resource, not see our workers exploited by it. Firms that act in this disgraceful manner should be punished severely.  

The big event in the House of Commons was of course the budget statement. It provided little comfort for anyone other than the very rich. We’re all to get poorer and for years to come. Yet two months ago, we were promised a bright new dawn. Some speculators and the very rich made immense profits then but now we’re all to pay for their tanking of our economy. It’s grim times for almost everyone. Though Banks and senior bankers will benefit and even the windfall taxes imposed on energy companies have so many get outs, it’ll likely mean little to them. 

The worst of it will be felt by very the poorest. Benefits and pensions may have risen but not in line with the food and fuel costs. But they’re now being joined in penury by those in the middle. Folk who thought they were doing okay now face increased mortgages, depressed wages and find costs soaring. Often when they’ve kids and the demands and needs are many. 

The Chancellor talked about compassion, but it rings hollow. I asked him about energy issues that I know affect many in East Lothian. The higher standing charges on pre-payment meters remain an injustice imposed upon the most vulnerable and a social tariff for those most threatened’ s essential with winter looming. 

Jeremy Hunt said he was aware of the pre-payment issue and would write to me. That’s simply not good enough. It’s a letter directing OFGEM to end this obscenity that he needs to send.