East Lothian Courier – 9 May 2024


Last week I wrote about the concerns I had for mounting energy debt which now stands at a collective £3.1billion. With two thirds of that there’s neither any arrangement to pay nor for much of little likelihood of it being paid, without some assistance for those already struggling to meet current bills.

Action needs taken before many drown in a sea of debt, never mind the misery of being unable to access heat and power. But a parliamentary answer this week showed that whilst so far there’s nothing for the ordinary person struggling, yet again there’s assistance for the big energy suppliers already making huge profits.

An answer I received confirming that we’re all charged for the debt these companies are carrying. That’s because included within the Energy Price Guarantee that the UK Government trumpets, there’s an allowance for debt servicing of these unpaid bills. That means we’re all bailing out the big energy suppliers from any bank or borrowing costs.

Chance would be a fine thing for the overdraft or credit costs that everyone else is required to meet. Rather than keeping the big corporations’ profits healthy, it’s time we looked after those struggling to meet their bills. This is simply perverse.

The big political issue last week was the First Ministers resignation. I knew Humza Yousaf and he was personable. However, I never thought he was either up to the task and as it is he’s made mistakes for which he’s now paying the price.

But he was pushed as well as jumping. Senior players within his team and the SNP briefing that he was resigning even when he was discussing options with my party colleague. That as with the selection of the next Leader and FM is a matter for SNP members.

It’s not my party having left in 2021 due to what I saw as malfeasance in office and a policy platform that prioritized identity issues than what really matters to folk. John Swinney seems a certainty and he’s hinted at change which is welcome. But unless that’s significant, the Party’s decline will continue.