As winter approaches, energy prices are set to skyrocket – and the government is doing nothing to protect the poorest from catastrophic rises in their bills.
Gas and electricity prices in the UK are regulated by a ‘price cap’, which effectively sets the standard tariffs. This price cap is due to rise by a huge 12% on 1 October – £139 a year for a typical customer.
Then prices will rise again as soon as April, and that rise is due to be even higher. The total increase could be as high as 30% within just six months – over £400.
And as small energy companies go bankrupt, many people who had been on cheaper deals will suddenly be automatically switched to the most expensive ones at the big firms, with no other choices available.
With prices continuing to rise, some energy companies are even calling for the cap to be scrapped altogether. That would be a disaster.
Price rises on this scale will force people to choose between heating and eating, at the same time as many are already at breaking point thanks to the cut in universal credit, the increase in national insurance and soaring food prices.
The government must step in to cancel the price cap rises, set up a publicly owned national energy supplier and use public funds to secure low-price green energy supplies into the future.
“I survive (barely) on UC as a result of mental health issues, and with the decrease in this from October and the food price increases which are happening too, I’m dreading the winter coming, due to the choices I will be forced to make…. heating and hot water or food.”Angela, Birmingham
“Essential utilities should not be in the hands of private companies focusing on profit. Public ownership for gas, electricity and water provision is the only ‘fair’ way for the benefit of all.”Frank, London
“I’ve just had to switch my supplier and my bills will increase by £300 a year. I can just about afford it but what about young families already suffering through lack of well-paid jobs and the removal of the £20 a week? It’s a scandal. Let’s go back to nationalisation!”Chris, Cardiff
“As a single person on a part-time wage I am already cutting costs wherever I can, and this is filling me with dread.”Anthony, Leeds
“Shocked at the discrepancies between UK and Europe in terms of energy prices, must be a result of Brexit led by this government. They now have a duty to protect the British public from the results of their lies!”Fiona, Norfolk
“Our energy provider went bust and British Gas’s estimate of what we will now pay is way more than double the price we were paying.”Phyllis, Thanet
“I am 74 years old with a basic state pension with no other income, so this will be very difficult for my wife and me, as we both have serious health problems and without heating, we will probably die.”Roger, Castle Douglas
“We need nationally subsidised small-scale renewable projects to be rolled out as a matter of urgency. Every new-build house must be carbon-positive, with batteries in the basement to store the energy the house produces.”Paul, Hampshire
“The current level of financial burden the poorest families are expected to bear will be catastrophic. Huge hikes in energy costs, stagnant wages, zero hours contracts, food shortages and price hikes, NI increases, reduced universal credit, the list goes on.”James, Dorset
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