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A £700 energy bill? #financefriday

I expect my energy bill in the next few days, which could be as much as £700. I’m £1,900 in credit with my supplier, so obviously, I can pay it, but why was my direct debit set so high? It has also emerged that many people with pre-payment meters aren’t getting vouchers to help them with their energy costs. This is incompetence on the part of the energy companies and the government. Are they purposely making things difficult for consumers, or are they plain stupid? I think breaking into people’s homes to fit pre-payment meters is as malicious as making obscene profits from people on low incomes. The government even adds VAT to these grossly excessive bills.

The latest news on UK GDP informs us that we’re not in a recession. Much of this inflation isn’t caused by the war in Ukraine as claimed, but by Brexit stupidity. Brexit, it seems, is wiping £100 billion off GDP a year. Let’s chant Boris, Boris, Boris, clap for the NHS, eat out to help out; then look back and realise we have been taken for mugs.

The FTSE 100 has been soaring towards 8,000 making the rich, richer as the poor struggle to keep warm. Centrica shares are up over 25% in the past six months. At least a few British companies are raking in the money. The FTSE 100 is up over 1000 points since the Truss-Kwarteng catastrophe.

There were rumours again about a bank in Abu Dhabi making a bid for Standard Chartered. Those rumours were quashed in January and that was reiterated today. Standard Chartered fell back today but is still up 9% over the past week and is still one to watch. Their share price is up over 20% in the past 6 months. They will benefit from things getting back to normal in China. A number of analysts rated them “hold” last month and since then they’re over 6% up.

Marston’s could be one to watch now that the shares appear more in favour. They were heavily shorted last year, but now Marston’s appears to be increasing beer prices so it may be due a rising share price. Marston’s probably has a net asset value of over a £1 a share too.

Overall, the economy is flat but the FTSE 100 is going up being driven higher by energy companies and banks who are robbing us blind with high oil and gas prices and high interest rates. We need to watch interest rates for signs that central banks are going to start cutting them again. Many investors are turning to gold as central banks increase their stocks.

At least the government has given me half towards next week’s energy bill!


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