Star comment: Government needs to take firm action on cost of living crisis

Mega profits while people suffer are beyond the pale

It’s not a great look when energy firms are making huge profits while families struggle to heat their homes or even to pay for groceries. Business should be able to make profits, it is good for the economy. But the energy sector making multi-billion pound profits for investors at a time when millions of people can’t afford to eat a daily meal is beyond the pale.

The Conservatives are instinctively against state intervention. A free market has largely worked for Britain and helped it prosper. But surely the time has come for the Chancellor to start to consider some form of windfall tax, diverting that money to those most in need.

The situation is already dire for those who are most in need and the energy companies themselves have indicated that they have no immediate plans for spending their vast profits. The cash they have generated is over and above what is required to invest in new, greener technologies – it is simply a glut of cash that was unplanned and that is not essential to their present or future operations.

With further prices increases coming in October for gas and electricity and inflation rising, the cost of living crisis is set to spiral. Politically, with a general election looming, the Government may not be able to hold its present line of not intervening. Refusing to transfer surplus funds from those profiting from soaring prices to those suffering because of them is a vote loser.

The Government has been out of touch with people over the cost of living crisis and its inaction has left people facing hardship. The package the Chancellor has offered is too little and it’s morally wrong not to help.

There is advice today on revision, both for parents and for students themselves. The overall theme is to be organised, to avoid distraction and to keep calm. Those qualities are easy to espouse however, and more difficult to put into practice.

For all the pressure, it is important that youngsters put their exams into perspective. Yes, they are important but they are not worth becoming ill for. Our exams-based system puts enormous pressure on the students and, indeed their parents and teachers. Some people are good at them, others less so. Either way, there will be plenty of opportunities in life to shine.

Lives, careers and livelihoods do not end if a youngster gets a poor exam rating. For all the importance of them and the benefit they can bring, life if full of opportunities for those who miss out. There are a variety of reasons why people might under perform. Recovery can follow.

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