MAGGIE Chetty (Letters, Jan 10) is correct that working people everywhere must stand together to defend their standard of living. However, unlike her, I’ve no doubt the British Government – Sunak or whichever Prime Minister – will halve the current inflation rate. There are many reasons for this, not least that inflation is not good for the economy and it’s been done successfully through necessity in the past.

Forget excuses of Putin’s war, Covid, certainly not wage pressures, or anything else; this bout of inflation has been caused by two things: Brexit and energy prices. Reversing the first and containing the second would resolve the problem.

Doesn’t it seem this crisis has been deliberately caused by 13 years of Tory austerity constraining wages and lowering living standards, and the wholesale failure of an energy market that government has allowed to run rampant over our economy?

Why is there no competition within the energy market? Why are all fuels price dependent on the wholesale gas price? Why do gas, electricity and carbon sources not compete against each other as “Sid” (remember him?) promised?

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Why has locally produced electricity, where the production costs have not risen, been artificially price-hiked to match “market” pricing, rather than maintaining its lower price in competition? So much for the benefits of locally produced cheap green energy. Climate considerations aside, why are we producing energy we can’t afford?

We are being played by the Government. Why is diesel fuel priced around 15% higher than unleaded petrol? Particularly when almost everything transported in our economy depends on diesel fuel, which can’t possibly cost as much to refine? This 15% supercharge has to be a major contributor to the inflated prices in our profiteering shops and the high inflation rate.

Of course, government could take control of the market. Rather than subsidising consumers, where that money goes straight into the profits of the energy company producers (windfall taxes?), the billions of pounds this has cost could have funded returning energy to within responsible public ownership in the public interest.

Clearly, we’re being shafted. Within 12 months, the inflation rate will reduce when these energy price hikes become normalised. Higher energy costs will become embedded and only subsequent increases accorded to inflation.

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The energy companies will have completed the biggest heist on consumers in our economic history. Prices will remain three times what they were at the outset and energy companies and their shareholders will be laughing all the way to their banks, at our expense of lower living standards.

The British Government will ultimately reduce inflation – no doubt there – and this will be used as an excuse to fend off wage demands. The 13 years of diminished living standards for us will become fixed – we’re poorer, the wealthy richer. Has this been a carefully crafted British establishment plot from the outset?

Britain is a rudderless ship in a maelstrom, only the captain and the owners are not going down with the ship. It’s the crew that will be floundering for survival.

There is no alternative within the British diaspora. Starmer’s Labour Party would do nothing different, because they believe that’s what red wall voters want. We’re being held to ransom by Starmer’s fear of Labour’s red wall not returning to its fold, which has stifled opposition.

Scottish independence to build a fairer Scotland is not just our only option; isn’t it surely more than ever our imperative?

Jim Taylor