The cost of living

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
Post Reply
Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:37 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 1:36 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 1:16 am
. Your first source gives a ridiculous definition. Why does the efficiency rating matter?
Because, as it explains about 2 sentences later:
energy efficiency is a key driver of fuel poverty, as higher energy efficiency reduces a household’s fuel costs for a particular size of property
Having no heating in a well insulated building is very different to having no heating in a poorly insulated one. That's pretty much why insulation exists.
That makes no sense. If X is a bad thing, then it is nonsense to define X in terms of Y using the claim that Y leads to X. The definition must stand alone. If fuel poverty is to mean anything, it should be that a household cannot afford all the heating it needs. That could be because of an inefficient house costing too much to heat or an efficient one inhabited by a poorer household who cannot afford even the lesser costs.
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 1:16 am
Why should people remain above the official poverty line after spending some of their money?
Being at a safe, reasonably comfortable temperature is what most nice, normal people would consider a bare essential in civilised society. It shouldn't leave people struggling to afford food, transportation and - horror of horrors - not being completely f.cking miserable forever.
That's a non-sequitur. If we define a poverty line, claiming that people with less than this are excessively poor and those with more are not, then that means that for someone exactly on the line every class of expenditure leaves them with less than the poverty line. It makes no sense to pick one class of expenditure and say that it should cost nothing so that someone on the poverty line before spending anything on this class should still be on the line afterwards.

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:41 am

Grumble wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 6:42 am
My house had cavity insulation done many years ago, long before I moved in. The insulation has started to degrade, but it can’t be redone. Once it’s in that’s it. Injecting more would only compact it.
It may be possible to remove it - see https://www.thegreenage.co.uk/tech/need ... nsulation/ - which would, presumably allow it to be re-done.

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:43 am

IvanV wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 8:49 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:10 am
IvanV wrote:
Tue Aug 23, 2022 7:52 pm
The current Economist had an opinion piece kind-of in favour of the Labour policy, under the subheading "Silly policy can be smart politics".
The silly policy could also be utterly disastrous. If the cause of rising energy prices is lack of energy (which it certainly seems to be) then forcing a fixed price (which thereby guarantees supply in excess of what is actually available) will drive the subsidy up until it is impossible to pay it - just like happened on Black Wednesday where the government foolishly tried to deny reality and force a fixed limit on the exchange rate for Sterling.
I kind of hope that's the point. They get elected on it, implement it, demonstrate it is unworkable, and then do something sensible instead.
As happened with Brexit, which is why we are now back in the EU?

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:47 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:11 am
  • Compel all landlords to undertake insulation installation and lower energy use, contributing money
What happens when landlords decide they would prefer to evict the tenants instead (presumably, but not necessarily always, to sell)?
  • Compel...
  • ...compel ...
I think we have already gone much too far in the direction of authoritarian government. It is far too dangerous to encourage more.

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:49 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:21 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:01 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Aug 23, 2022 2:07 pm
You might enjoy this report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems http://www.ipes-food.org/pages/foodpricecrisis, reported on by the World Economic Forum here https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/05/ ... rd-levels/
Given the track record of people trying to organise food production with big plans, I'd conclude that these experts are best ignored. The twentieth century saw major famines caused by attempts to plan food production (e.g. Soviet union 1930-1933, and the Great Leap Forward in China 1958-1962). I think enough people have already died to prove that that approach does not work. In contrast, the work of Norman Borlaug shows that if you have a genuine improvement people will adopt it with having to have it forced upon them.
hahahaha good one
I don't find famines which killed tens of millions of people amusing.

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:52 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 11:26 am
But the government's long-term failure to invest in energy efficiency and decarbonisation shouldn't be paid for by the country's poorest, who can do nothing about it.
This is a democracy. They are just as responsible for voting in the governments which have pursued these policies as rich people. Possibly even more so, as there are more poor people than rich people.

User avatar
headshot
Dorkwood
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:40 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by headshot » Thu Aug 25, 2022 7:06 am

I just bought a truckload of wood for our log burner. Weirdly the price of that is exactly the same as last year, and it looks like it’s the same amount.

User avatar
El Pollo Diablo
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2900
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:41 pm
Location: FBPE

Re: The cost of living

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Aug 25, 2022 8:11 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:47 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:11 am
  • Compel all landlords to undertake insulation installation and lower energy use, contributing money
What happens when landlords decide they would prefer to evict the tenants instead (presumably, but not necessarily always, to sell)?
  • Compel...
  • ...compel ...
I think we have already gone much too far in the direction of authoritarian government. It is far too dangerous to encourage more.
Landlords are already expected to meet certain requirements in terms of living standards. In some areas there are licence schemes enforced, without which a property cannot be rented out. This simply updates the requirements.
They loved each other and believed they loved mankind, they fought each other and believed they fought the world.

User avatar
TimW
Snowbonk
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by TimW » Thu Aug 25, 2022 8:30 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:52 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 11:26 am
But the government's long-term failure to invest in energy efficiency and decarbonisation shouldn't be paid for by the country's poorest, who can do nothing about it.
This is a democracy. They are just as responsible for voting in the governments which have pursued these policies as rich people. Possibly even more so, as there are more poor people than rich people.
I think it's safe to say that the poorest, by any definition, are a minority. As such, they are completely ignored by our electoral sytem.

User avatar
lpm
Junior Mod
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Thu Aug 25, 2022 8:39 am

Huh? Under that logic everyone is completely ignored by our electoral system.

In reality, of course, the poorest are always part of the general election campaigning and there's widespread support for social welfare etc. It's just that we keep losing those election campaigns.
⭐ Awarded gold star 4 November 2021

User avatar
TimW
Snowbonk
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:27 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by TimW » Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:34 pm

I mean a small minority. Tory voters are also a minority, but big enough to get over the threshold.

FlammableFlower
Dorkwood
Posts: 1322
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by FlammableFlower » Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:15 pm

Octopus Energy has a little Forecasting tool (which comes with a massive uncertainty warning). I'm now paying £217/month (up from £129/month before the price hikes started). In summer I end up overpaying, but in winter, underpaying, so it doesn't work out too badly in the long run. Or at least it didn't. From their forecasting tool, if prices stay as they are, I'd be about £200 in credit by July next year, but if you apply their prediction of where prices are going, I'd be £2,200 in debt and to break even/go slightly into credit, I'd need to be paying £420-425/month, about 15% of my monthly wage...

User avatar
lpm
Junior Mod
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:58 pm

FlammableFlower wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:15 pm
Octopus Energy has a little Forecasting tool (which comes with a massive uncertainty warning). I'm now paying £217/month (up from £129/month before the price hikes started). In summer I end up overpaying, but in winter, underpaying, so it doesn't work out too badly in the long run. Or at least it didn't. From their forecasting tool, if prices stay as they are, I'd be about £200 in credit by July next year, but if you apply their prediction of where prices are going, I'd be £2,200 in debt and to break even/go slightly into credit, I'd need to be paying £420-425/month, about 15% of my monthly wage...
The alternative way to look at this is:

"I would need a 10% pay rise for the increase in my monthly post-tax wage to equal the increase in my monthly energy bill."

The exact figure depends on your circumstances, easy enough to work out.

Which would you prefer, a 10% pay rise or the govt paying a large part of your energy bill?
⭐ Awarded gold star 4 November 2021

User avatar
dyqik
Light of Blast
Posts: 5717
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: The cost of living

Post by dyqik » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:02 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:58 pm
FlammableFlower wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:15 pm
Octopus Energy has a little Forecasting tool (which comes with a massive uncertainty warning). I'm now paying £217/month (up from £129/month before the price hikes started). In summer I end up overpaying, but in winter, underpaying, so it doesn't work out too badly in the long run. Or at least it didn't. From their forecasting tool, if prices stay as they are, I'd be about £200 in credit by July next year, but if you apply their prediction of where prices are going, I'd be £2,200 in debt and to break even/go slightly into credit, I'd need to be paying £420-425/month, about 15% of my monthly wage...
The alternative way to look at this is:

"I would need a 10% pay rise for the increase in my monthly post-tax wage to equal the increase in my monthly energy bill."

The exact figure depends on your circumstances, easy enough to work out.

Which would you prefer, a 10% pay rise or the govt paying a large part of your energy bill?
Where it gets far more complicated than this is if the energy price spikes are one winter only. An across the board 10% pay rise is then inflationary once energy prices drop, while the government paying bills for one winter isn't so much.

Of course, there's a very good argument for an across the board 10% pay rise anyway - but those arguments also apply to a 20% pay rise across the board if that 10% only covers energy price inflation.

User avatar
lpm
Junior Mod
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:25 pm

Why oh why oh why has everyone forgotten about Universal Credit and pensions and minimum wage?

The whole discussion seems to determined to obey the right wing demand for silence about this.

Here's a lengthy twitter thread about the crisis. It's by Torsten Bell, who is Chief Exec of the Resolution Foundation. The Resolution Foundation is a centrist/moderate think tank that focuses on the problems of low pay and benefits and the economics of the minimum wage.

Number of times it mentions raising Universal Credit: zero
Number of times it mentions raising pensions: zero
Number of times it mentions raising minimum wage: zero
Number of times it mentions raising public sector pay: zero

https://twitter.com/TorstenBell/status/ ... 0452035586

Remember a few months back when the Bank of England governor said us plebs shouldn't demand a pay rise, for the good of the country? These capitalist elites have basically won. Somehow they've spread a veil of silence.

The true left-wing answer, that progressives should always place front and centre, is that we need to shift the capital-labour ratio back towards labour. Reverse 40 years of the relentless capture of wealth by the top, by getting real wage increases for the masses. I'm not shocked that the 1% is desperate to block all thoughts of it, by encouraging the discussion to focus on an isolated bail-out instead. I am shocked that the Labour Party and twitter-lefties and progressive thinkers have been fooled.
⭐ Awarded gold star 4 November 2021

User avatar
dyqik
Light of Blast
Posts: 5717
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: The cost of living

Post by dyqik » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:41 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:25 pm
Why oh why oh why has everyone forgotten about Universal Credit and pensions and minimum wage?

The whole discussion seems to determined to obey the right wing demand for silence about this.

Here's a lengthy twitter thread about the crisis. It's by Torsten Bell, who is Chief Exec of the Resolution Foundation. The Resolution Foundation is a centrist/moderate think tank that focuses on the problems of low pay and benefits and the economics of the minimum wage.

Number of times it mentions raising Universal Credit: zero
Number of times it mentions raising pensions: zero
Number of times it mentions raising minimum wage: zero
Number of times it mentions raising public sector pay: zero

https://twitter.com/TorstenBell/status/ ... 0452035586

Remember a few months back when the Bank of England governor said us plebs shouldn't demand a pay rise, for the good of the country? These capitalist elites have basically won. Somehow they've spread a veil of silence.

The true left-wing answer, that progressives should always place front and centre, is that we need to shift the capital-labour ratio back towards labour. Reverse 40 years of the relentless capture of wealth by the top, by getting real wage increases for the masses. I'm not shocked that the 1% is desperate to block all thoughts of it, by encouraging the discussion to focus on an isolated bail-out instead. I am shocked that the Labour Party and twitter-lefties and progressive thinkers have been fooled.
These are the good arguments for across the board pay rises that I mention above.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Light of Blast
Posts: 5637
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:45 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:25 pm
Why oh why oh why has everyone forgotten about Universal Credit and pensions and minimum wage?
I don't know. There isn't time to insulate millions of homes or bring in a system of energy rationing or dynamic pricing. Even if people could get round the materials shortages, there is a labour shortage in the building industry.

Kids in Scotland started school last week, and something needs to be done by their half term holiday.

The one thing government can do quickly is raise and transfer money. So yes, increasing incomes is the only feasible option.

This forum be like listening to the Dead Kennedys.

User avatar
discovolante
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3479
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:10 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by discovolante » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:57 pm

Well there have been quite a lot of strikes recently (admittedly not all just about pay) so clearly not everyone has forgotten.
I'M HEATING STREAKY BACON IN A TROUSER PRESS

User avatar
lpm
Junior Mod
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Thu Aug 25, 2022 4:44 pm

Yes, the Unions have been doing good work, despite being dragged down by the deadweight of the Labour Party.
⭐ Awarded gold star 4 November 2021

Millennie Al
Dorkwood
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:02 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:29 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 8:11 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Aug 25, 2022 1:47 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:11 am
  • Compel all landlords to undertake insulation installation and lower energy use, contributing money
What happens when landlords decide they would prefer to evict the tenants instead (presumably, but not necessarily always, to sell)?
Landlords are already expected to meet certain requirements in terms of living standards. In some areas there are licence schemes enforced, without which a property cannot be rented out. This simply updates the requirements.
That does not address my question. Greater costs and requirements mean more people are deterred from being landlords. What happens when there are fewer properties remaining to rent than people wanting to rent?

User avatar
Bird on a Fire
Princess POW
Posts: 9623
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Portugal

Re: The cost of living

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:49 pm

Falling house prices, more tenants become homeowners.
We have the right to a clean, healthy, sustainable environment.

User avatar
Woodchopper
Light of Blast
Posts: 5637
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Aug 26, 2022 5:01 am

Energy firms refusing to supply small UK businesses over bankruptcy fears
Hospitality sector in particular is finding it hard to renew contracts, with some asked for £10,000 deposit
https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... -contracts
We should probably talk about the business sector as well as housing

User avatar
Woodchopper
Light of Blast
Posts: 5637
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:05 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Aug 26, 2022 1:52 pm

I had a look at the earlier government green homes scheme which was designed to pay for insulation etc. It didn't go well.

It had a budget of £1.5 billion, but was only able to spend £314 million by the time the scheme was wound up last year (and about £50 million of the spending was on administration). It was heavily criticized for being rushed and over complex, involving a complex application process, and difficult procedure by which companies could become accredited, and lengthy delays. They intended a rapid increase in the number of heat pumps to be installed, but apparently, it can take four years to train people to do that.

Full report here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/c ... eport.html

IvanV
Dorkwood
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: The cost of living

Post by IvanV » Fri Aug 26, 2022 2:45 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Aug 26, 2022 1:52 pm
I had a look at the earlier government green homes scheme which was designed to pay for insulation etc. It didn't go well.

It had a budget of £1.5 billion, but was only able to spend £314 million by the time the scheme was wound up last year (and about £50 million of the spending was on administration). It was heavily criticized for being rushed and over complex, involving a complex application process, and difficult procedure by which companies could become accredited, and lengthy delays. They intended a rapid increase in the number of heat pumps to be installed, but apparently, it can take four years to train people to do that.

Full report here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/c ... eport.html
It was crap in part because of the government's ideological obsession with private finance, or if you are cynical, making this a juicy deal for their business chums. They had the idea the installers would finance the unfunded part of it, and consumers would pay the installer in, er, installments. But installers, being risky businesses, get finance at much higher interest rates than households can get for home improvements. So the installments looked very expensive in comparison with financing via a mortgage extension. Eventually, they did put in place a separate financing arrangement with more household-friendly interest rates. But this added to the complication to the installer in delivering it.

So ultimately it was crap because the government had insufficient focus on the key requirement of this being a good, workable deal for households, administratively straightforward, and present a large expansion in the deliverable capacity of manufacture of equipment and installation skills. And insufficient willingness to devote the serious funds necessary to achieve that. If you focus on the right outcomes, sensible schemes are not so difficult to devise. But are expensive.

We have indeed underestimated how long it will take to get installers up to speed in comparison with countries where heat pumps are already much more common. A heatpump installation is still a rare custom job in this country.

User avatar
lpm
Junior Mod
Posts: 4958
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Re: The cost of living

Post by lpm » Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:13 am

Oh god, now they're doing it again with small capitalist businesses. The govt is supposed to bail them all out, apparently.

Absolutely not. If they don't have a viable business they should shut down.
⭐ Awarded gold star 4 November 2021

Post Reply