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Taking the axe to fuel poverty in the UK

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Taking the axe to fuel poverty in the UK by Tree Elven on 06/02/2023
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  • Creative
  • Informative
  • Controversial
  • Amusing
  • Creative
  • Informative
  • Controversial
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Here's a campaign from the UK's National Energy Action (NEA), a charity "that works to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are poor or vulnerable gain affordable heat". While it delivers a clearly community-based message about donating your energy rebate to others if you can afford to, its heart-warming intention falls in a bleakly unequal landscape: as Britons were urged to scrimp and cut back in order to save on heating bills over the winter, British multinational oil & gas company Shell hit the headlines with record profits of more than £32 billion. Some point to the inevitability of rising energy prices due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict; economists may argue that companies such as Shell are merely doing their job by raking in profit and distributing it among shareholders - some of which are pension funds in which many people are invested at one level or another. Be that as it may, the images of chopping wood in half in this NEA campaign are a striking juxtaposition with big-figure headlines of largely inaccessible wealth. There was talk of government imposing a 'windfall tax' on such bloated profits in order to help the nation's people. The BBC news outlet reported that "Shell initially said it was not expecting to pay any of the windfall tax at all for 2022, as its investments in the North Sea meant it did not count as having made any UK profits. But on 2 February it announced that it would actually pay $134m (£108m) for 2022 and expected to pay more than $500m (£400m) for 2023." What do you think of the NEA campaign? As the actors line up to chop logs in half to help others, does it make you feel warm and fuzzy, or are you wondering who the 'most vulnerable' will really be as the axe continues to swing?

Keywords: National Energy Action 'Warm the Country Twice', NEA donate your rebate, UK fuel poverty, energy costs Britain, energy rebates, cost of living UK, Collective agency

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