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So, £20 billion seems to be the cost of current energy policy then

Summary:
That combination of the price cap - a ludicrous idea - plus no fracking and the dash for renewables seems to have caused a £20 billion cost: Energy bills could treble unless the Government sets up a £20bn fund to help companies spread out the cost of soaring global gas prices, ministers were warned on Monday.That idea of the government setting up a fund to pay that bill - spreading it over all taxpayers - doesn’t decrease the cost of the policy mess of course. In fact, it would increase it. If people were facing higher costs for their energy consumption - absent the price cap - then they’d reduce their energy consumption making the cost lower.Ministers are under growing pressure to protect households from soaring energy costs as they face the threat of their bills doubling in a year.It’s

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That combination of the price cap - a ludicrous idea - plus no fracking and the dash for renewables seems to have caused a £20 billion cost:

Energy bills could treble unless the Government sets up a £20bn fund to help companies spread out the cost of soaring global gas prices, ministers were warned on Monday.

That idea of the government setting up a fund to pay that bill - spreading it over all taxpayers - doesn’t decrease the cost of the policy mess of course.

In fact, it would increase it. If people were facing higher costs for their energy consumption - absent the price cap - then they’d reduce their energy consumption making the cost lower.

Ministers are under growing pressure to protect households from soaring energy costs as they face the threat of their bills doubling in a year.

It’s not possible to protect households from that cost. There’s only us 65 million folk here to pay the bills. We can indeed pay through the tax system, or out of pocket, but that cost is going to fall on the 65 million of us whatever anyone does.

We would insist that this should all be visible through those bills. If wholesale prices have risen then so too retail. Because that’s the way for us all to see the costs of those decisions that have been made about the energy system. Who knows, we might even disagree about that policy or those policies. You know, when being up front and in our faces fully informed?

The universe really does throw costs at us and while it’s possible for governments to make those costs higher just shifting who pays for them doesn’t lower them. One of those advantages of actually free markets being that we find out, plainly, how much the fashions of those who govern cost us. To the point that we might even disagree about going along with the latest fad.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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