Skip to main content

Featured

Austerity is shortening lives

Life expectancy has been one of those measures used often to indicate human progress.  On this measure, the UK doesn't do so well compared to other European countries.   
Life expectancy at birth in the UK  increased by 13.1 weeks per year on average since 1980–1982 for males and 9.5 weeks per year on average for females.

The reduction in the proportion of men smoking, along with the decline of heavy industry and the move away from physical labour and manufacturing industries towards the service sector are likely factors contributing to the changes, while female life-styles and childbirth have changed substantially.

The most common age at death in the UK for men is 85 and for women, it is 89. Progress indeed.

The health and wellbeing of our population are falling, and with it so too is life-expectancy.

Austerity is shortening our lives, or at least for some of us.   And there is the point.

Austerity has increased inequality and poverty, driven by the Tory cuts and approach to wel…

Not smart on smart meters

Why is it that when it comes to IT we seem to get things so badly wrong? Whether it is in the border agency or in the NHS we seem unable to get things to work or to roll out as planned.  Now we have a problem it seems with rolling out smart meters to save energy, one of the key planks of government strategy on tackling carbon emissions and climate change.  Now a parliamentary committee has warned that plans for installing these meters are in danger.

Plans to install the energy saving smart meters in every UK home and business by 2020 are in danger of veering off-track and could prove to be a costly failure because the project has not been driven forward effectively, the Energy and Climate Change Committee of the House of Commons has warned. In a new report the MPs raise concerns about technical, logistical and public communication issues which have resulted in delays to a national roll-out programme.


Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"Time is running out on the Government’s plan to install smart meters in each of the UK’s 30 million homes and businesses by 2020. Smart meters could generate more than £17bn in energy savings for the country yet a series of technical and other issues have resulted in delays to the planned roll-out."

The Committee first looked at the programme in 2013, highlighting issues which they urged the Government to address. As the chair of the committee says, some progress has been made but it is not enough.

"The energy industry told us that it needs the Government to enable industry-wide solutions, rather than the less efficient alternative of letting each energy supplier develop its own solution.

But he also warns that without significant change from government the programme is at risk of failing.

"Without a significant and immediate change to the Government’s present approach which aims to install smart meters in 100% of UK homes and businesses, the programme runs the risk of falling far short of expectations. At worst, it could prove to be a costly failure. So, the Government is at a crossroads on its smart meters policy. It can continue with its current approach and risk embarrassment through public disengagement on a flagship energy policy, or it can grip the reins, and steer the energy industry along a more successful path which brings huge benefits for the country."

Why, oh why is it so difficult?

Comments

Popular Posts