Newspaper review: Papers reflect on energy price hikes

Sunday newspapers

After a week in which energy price increases have again caused widespread anger, there is a collective call for urgent action in the newspapers.

The Mail on Sunday, which leads on the Archbishop of Canterbury's intervention, asks why the energy companies have to raise their prices so much, so fast.

The Sunday Express says prices are now so high that even families on decent incomes cannot keep their houses properly heated and it is time that MPs did something about this state of affairs.

For the Observer, never-ending tariff increases are unsustainable,. "How long can privatisation, along with light-touch regulation, remain the business model for the electricity and gas industries," it asks.

In the Sunday Mirror's view, most of the windfall from the increases is not funding investment or meeting higher costs - it is adding to profits that go straight into the pockets of bosses and shareholders.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph reports that senior Tories are drawing up a secret plan to cut green taxes as part of an overhaul of the industry designed to bring down customers' bills.

According to the paper, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, is said to be furious.

Much more

The fall out from the "plebgate" row involving former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell and police in Downing Street continues to generate headlines.

In the words of Tony Parsons in the Sun on Sunday, the police have had a rotten week.

Nick Ferrari, writing in the Sunday Express, agrees and says the accusation that three officers tried to discredit Mr Mitchell drives another sizeable nail into the coffin of public trust in the police.

For Adam Boulton, in the Sunday Times, Mr Mitchell's fight to clear his name is now about much more than one man's thwarted ambitions.

In the Observer, Henry Porter calls for a royal commission to look into the structure of the police, training, ethical standards and investigation of wrongdoing.

Life jab

Nick Clegg's attack on free schools is widely reported - and makes the lead for the Observer and the Independent on Sunday.

The Observer says the coalition has "descended into open warfare" over a key domestic policy.

The Independent says the deputy prime minister's views aligns the Liberal Democrats more closely with Labour on education.

For its main story, the Sunday Express reports that a jab giving life-long protection against all flu strains could be ready within five years.

It says scientists in the UK and Europe have had positive results in the first human trials of a universal vaccine that works even if the virus mutates.

Put it down

There is unease in some quarters over the chancellor's invitation to China to invest in the next generation of Britain's nuclear power stations.

Will Hutton, in the Observer, says this a breathtaking step in an industry where the sensitivities over operating safety, technical efficiency and waste disposal are so acute.

In the view of Camilla Cavendish in the Sunday Times, it is a tragedy that having pioneered nuclear technology, UK scientists and engineers will not be building these new plants to a British design.

Finally, the euphoria that greeted England's qualification for the World Cup in Brazil has been tempered for some by the inevitable consequence that the England Band will again be out in full musical force, says the Observer.

It says the band are facing a cacophony of calls on Twitter to lay their instruments aside. Comedian, David Baddiel - writer of the lyrics to the Three Lions football song - added his voice to the campaign by commenting: "I tire of endless Rule Britannia and Great Escapes".

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