Star comment: Don't be fooled that energy price crisis is over
The kiddology of energy companies is breathtaking.
We’re in some way supposed to be pleased that the energy price gap is falling. Yet the reality is that devastatingly high energy bills have crippled businesses and individuals during the past 12 months or more.
There were genuine reasons for increases, not least the awful war in Ukraine. But it’s also true that energy giants have profiteered during those times, while avoiding the sort of windfall taxes that many wished to see.
Profits have been extraordinary for many firms, while households and both the public sector and private sector have suffered.
We should not be fooled, therefore, by talk of lowering the energy price gap. The voice of reason Martin Lewis says people are still paying double or more than did before the energy crisis hit in October 2021.
A reduction in energy bills is a step in the right direction, of course, but far more needs to be done. We all understand how the war in Ukraine has impacted on the world supply of gas.
But when energy companies continue to make enormous profits while some households struggle to heat their home and feed their family, something has gone wrong. Winter will be around again sooner than we would like. And unless action is taken we face yet another few months of crisis.
The Government has been lamentably slow to interfere in the market, though it could have taken more action. Prices have been too high and energy companies have been too slow to pass on reductions - we have only to look at the price of diesel, or electricity, to know that.
More businesses will go to the wall and more people will fall into poverty.
Imagine a world without cinema. While streaming is handy and has opened up creativity to the masses, you cannot beat the experience of widescreen movies at your local cinema.
That is why it is good news that Cineworld’s future looks secure as it comes out of bankruptcy protection. Now it is up to all of us to keep going to the pictures in order to keep it viable.
The Little Mermaid, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are all on their way and perhaps we could treat ourselves during spring and summer, while playing our part in keeping those businesses afloat.
Cinema has provided a window into another world for more than a century, while picture houses have also provided huge inspiration for emerging creative artists. They are important to our communities and provide delightful leisure opportunities.