Scottish Greens: Nationalise Big Five Energy Firms And Save Lives

The UK government must nationalise Scottish Power and the other Big Five energy companies to cut energy bills and save lives, according to the Scottish Greens. 

Almost three quarters of gas and electricity in the UK is supplied by just five companies: British Gas/Centrica, E.ON, OVO, EDF and Scottish Power. The Trades Union Congress estimates that taking them into public ownership would cost £2.85bn.[1]

This would allow for bills to be slashed to more affordable levels while keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses. 

It is a key part of a six point recovery plan that urges the UK government to use the financial levers that it has to:

  • Nationalise the Big Five energy companies -  British Gas/Centrica, E.ON, OVO, EDF and Scottish Power 

  • Reverse the energy price cap rises, taking prices back to October 2021 levels

  • Bring back the £20 Universal Credit uplift from the pandemic, and then double it, with corresponding increases for legacy benefits

  • Raise the national minimum wage to a level that meets the Real Living Wage for all, accounting for inflation

  • Tax profitable corporations with a real windfall tax that avoids the exemptions and loopholes of Rishi Sunak’s energy profits levy

  • Inflation-proof Scotland’s block grant from Westminster, so that Scottish services and workers are not paying for Westminster’s failures

The Scottish Greens say the plan is essential to help support those being plunged into debt and poverty over the coming weeks and months.

Scottish Greens Co-leader, Lorna Slater, MSP, said:

“Energy policy needs to work for people and the planet, and currently it is failing both. It is not just a failure of the energy market, it is a failure of the entire system. Millions of people are being forced to choose between heating and eating, while fossil fuel giants are raking in record profits.”

“Things can’t go on like this. If the UK Government allows it to continue then we will be looking at a social emergency beyond anything that this country has experienced for generations.”

“So many of the fundamental decisions about our economy sit with a cruel and incompetent Tory government that’s missing in action. Our plan can be implemented quickly to deliver help to those who need it now, but it needs the political will to do it."

"From raising wages to raising benefits, and from taxing the obscene wealth of the oil and gas companies to taking these companies into public ownership and curbing the out-of-control price hikes, these things can only be done from Westminster.”

“With Greens in Government at Holyrood, we are leading the change. We have doubled the Scottish Child Payment and increased the benefits we control in line with inflation, providing vital support to families who are being hit with skyrocketing bills. We have introduced free bus travel for everyone under 22, opening Scotland for young people and their families, and ensured that all government contracts pay at least the living wage."

"This is a totally different approach from the Tories, who have no solutions and are trying to cut their way out of a crisis.”