Europe’s Winter of Chaos: Liz Truss Promises UK will not Ration Energy

People walk to work on the south bank in front of Tower Bridge after snow has fallen overnight in London, England on February 28th, 2018. Freezing weather conditions dubbed the 'Beast from the East' have brought snow and sub-zero temperatures to the UK. (photo by Vickie Flores/In Pictures via Getty …
Vickie Flores/In Pictures via Getty Images Images

Despite the ongoing gas crisis, Liz Truss has promised that the United Kingdom will not ration energy over the coming winter months.

Energy rationing will not come into effect in the United Kingdom over the coming winter, Liz Truss has promised, despite the significant supply shortages currently facing the country.

While no doubt a relief for many private citizens and households in the country, Truss’ promise that ordinary Britons will also not be forced to pay above and beyond for the unrationed energy raises questions as to just how the newly minted Prime Minister expects to make it through the winter without rationing, with the refusal to raise prices appearing to be at least somewhat incompatible with a refusal to ration supply.

Nevertheless, according to a report by broadcaster Sky News, Liz Truss said that she will not be expecting the general public to restrict their energy consumption over the coming months.

“We are not talking about [the] rationing of energy,” the Prime Minister remarked on Tuesday.

Truss went on to say that, while it was important that Britain be willing to pay more for energy if it means greater supply security and relying less on authoritarian regimes, the UK population should not be expected to pick up the cost of such an endeavour, with the Prime Minister promising that she will soon cap prices at £2,500 (~$2,850).

“It’s right that we cannot jeopardise our security for the sake of cheap energy,” the Prime Minister said. “What we can’t allow to happen is for that cost to go on the bills of people in the UK.”

“We are going to put in place an energy price guarantee to make sure people are able to get through this winter and next winter without those very high bills that we feared,” she went on to say.

Truss’ promise that she will get Britain through the energy crisis this winter without energy rationing nor sky-high prices — while great news if true — raises a lot of questions as to exactly how the new premier expects she could possibly achieve this feat.

Experts within the energy sector have previously remarked that the Prime Minister’s proposed cap on prices would increase the risk of there being shortages over the coming months, with one pundit describing such a cap as a “terrible” policy that would likely make the energy crisis worse, though went on to describe it as nevertheless likely being unavoidable this late in the game.

Then there is the question of how Truss is going to prevent the average citizen from paying for the increased cost of energy.

While the Tory party leader has said that the government will pick up the tab of rising costs using borrowed money — possibly up to the tune of $100 billion — it appears likely that such borrowed funds will need to be paid back by the taxpayer eventually.

A so-called “windfall tax” on the profits of energy companies — which is currently being considered by the European Union and has previously been used by the UK’s previous Johnson government — could possibly be used to prevent this, though Truss has already said earlier this month that she is not in favour of such a tax being levied.

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