It’s up, up and away!
The prices that is. The UK Daily Mail reports today that inflation has reached the highest level in 20 years. Price increases have been fuelled primarily by an increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, and spiralling energy prices. The Mail writes:
For millions, the biggest battle is finding the money to fill up their car. The average price of petrol and diesel has never been higher. For example, a 50-litre diesel car now costs £70 to fill, compared with £59 last year. Unions said the inflation figures from the Office for National Statistics show ‘how tough it is for working families struggling to afford the most basic necessities, like food and fuel’.
Dr Ros Altmann, the director general of Saga, described the inflation figures as ‘truly dreadful’.”
Indeed a litre of petrol is up 14.7% in February over a year earlier, a litre of diesel is up 19.7%. And a litre of pure vegetable oil is up a whopping 42% and electricity up 6.5% . For petrol and diesel that all translates into something like $8 or$9 a gallon. This is the near future in America if you let the envirokooks get their way.
Risk of blackouts in Germany
Meanwhile in Germany electricity prices are also jumping. And as the country shuts down 7 of its nuclear power plants in a panic reaction to Fukushima, pressure for even higher prices will certainly mount. FOCUS magazine reports here that:
Many consumers are now threatened with a bad surprise when they get their next electric bills. According to an energy portal, prices will increase at 43 utilities. Also gas consumers are hit.
The announced price increases of the 43 utilities are at an average of 6.5%, according to the consumer portal.”
Natural gas prices are also rising. FOCUS reports that 37 utilities will jack up the prices.
High energy costs are not the only factor causing woes for German consumers. Soon they may no longer be able to rely on a steady supply. Yet another FOCUS report warns of possible blackouts, writing:
The German Energy Agency cautions on an overly hasty shutdown of nuclear energy. Switching off seven reactors power outages. The power grid needs to be massively expanded.”
The expansion of the power grid of course is to accommodate offshore windfarms and solar panels. The 7 nuclear power plants are scheduled to be shut down in May.