Consumer watchdog Which? condemns green tax
News from Telegraph.co.uk:
The carbon floor price policy sets a minimum on what British companies must pay for the greenhouse gases they produce under the European Union’s emissions-trading rules.
The measure, due to be in place next year, is supposed to increase the financial incentive for big firms – especially power generators – to adopt low-carbon technologies. However, the policy has been criticised as ineffective and unfair, because companies elsewhere in the EU will not face a floor price.
Even the Government admits that much of the floor price charge to UK companies will actually be paid by consumers as firms recoup their costs through higher bills.
The Treasury estimates floor price will raise £1.4 billion by 2015/16. The Government estimates that at least 40 per cent of that bill will be paid by households, a total cost of £560 million
Treasury estimates suggest that the floor price will add as much as six per cent to household electricity bills, an additional £25 for the average family.
In his letter, Mr Lloyd said the policy amounts to ministers “writing a blank cheque” with households’ money.
“People are already struggling to manage their energy bills. It is unacceptable for the Government to pile yet more pressure on household budgets,” he wrote.
A decision by the Chancellor to abandon this “unnecessary measure” in the Budget would “…………… continues on Telegraph.co.uk
… Read the full article
Health Care Largest Lobbying Industry in CA in 2011; HMO Kaiser Tops List
News from Sacramento Bee:
SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 12, 2012 —
Initiative Would Prohibit Insurers From Passing On Lobbying Costs To Consumers
SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Health care generated $ 35.7 million in lobbyist spending in 2011, more than any other industry in California, and Kaiser was the largest spender at $ 3.5 million, according to a California Healthline analysis of state records released today. A ballot initiative proposed by consumer advocates would prohibit insurance companies like Kaiser from passing on lobbying expenditures to policyholders as premium increases, the same way current law prohibits auto and homeowners insurers from passing on those costs.
“The increasing price patients pay for their health insurance premiums should not be used to fund insurance company lobbyists in Sacramento who work against patients’ interests. Premium dollars should go to medical care, not lobbyists, and our ballot initiative will make sure that happens,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog and proponent of the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act.
The ballot measure, proposed by Consumer Watchdog Campaign, would require health insurance companies to publicly justify rate hikes under penalty of perjury, and get approval for incre…………… continues on Sacramento Bee
… Read the full article