Thursday, 10 March 2016

power turn

Cornish pasties, tax credits, pensions and now possibly power stations? Areas where we've seen the man in the hard hat in a spin.

I mention the power station because of that photo-opportunity deal that George did before the Chinese visit last year. The one where he agreed to let the French and Chinese try build a nuclear power station at Hinckley Point.

I say "try to build" because the design seems to be an unproven money burner.

Not that it is dangerous, just that they can't complete other similar models which are all in massive overrun. Part state-owned EdF has taken a bit of a nose-dive over the last year.

Check the plans and notice that Thomas Piquemal, the EdF CFO who signed off the idea has just resigned allegedly because of the threat that the project poses to EdF's balance sheet.

Remember those signs? I'm not alone in thinking it was a terrible deal for the UK, topped off with an indexed linked £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years - roughly three times the current wholesale cost of power.

Bonkers, but it gave George a flag to wave when Xi Jinping was in town, because China agreed to invest 40% next to the 60% from EdF.

Now, with that EdF resignation, and a subsequent French auditor's report, it gives our Chancellor a small opportunity stop going in a straight line. With his upcoming budget, his views on UK overspending/size of the UK economy and so on, this possible change of direction may be one unbalanced force too far?

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