Martin Lewis broadcasts “open letter” to the Conservative Leadership candidates about another devastating rise in prices
Last updated 12 hours ago
The Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is warning of a “financial cataclysm” facing households across the UK, as energy prices look set to soar again.
The financial journalist says current predictions will mean energy bills will rise by another 65% in October – that’s on top of the 54% increase we had to deal with in April.
And he said prices were likely to stay high heading into 2023, ruling out a significant drop in prices that some had predicted.
Financial timebomb set to explode
In a “warning video” aimed at consumers, and the incoming Conservative PM, Martin Lewis spoke of the financial difficulty many were going to find themselves in.
He said: “The winter coming is going to be bleak, I believe unless action is taken we are facing a potential national financial cataclysm.
“The Conservative party leadership candidates need to know how stark things will be on the day they take office. We are sitting on a financial timebomb that’s due to explode in September and those candidates are the only ones with a chance of diffusing that catastrophe.”
Lewis describes the latest price rises as “sickening news” based on predictions of what the new energy cap will be:
- A typical user will see prices rise 65% from October
- Those paying the average of £1971 per year will soon pay £3240 a year
- A warning this may be a conservative estimate as wholesale prices keep going up
He said: “We’ll know the exact number at the end of August, so that means on the 5th September when our new Prime Minister is due to take office, direct debits will already be increasing by 65%.
“Someone who pays £200 a month now will have to pay £330 a month and it doesn’t end there. The price cap on the 1st January is likely to go up 4%”
Current financial support “not enough”
As part of the UK Government’s Energy Bill support scheme, UK households will receive £400 off their bills. Many have already received a £150 Council tax rebate to further cover costs.
Homes on Universal Credit will receive further support, as will pensioners and people with disabilities.
The gov.uk website sets out which payments you will qualify for.
The Money Saving Expert warned the £400 payments promised by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak “has already been swallowed up” as it was set based on prediction in April/May.
“That £400 has gone just by the increase in the prediction alone. The amounts being given were all based on where we were back in May and that is not enough now.”
“Civil unrest” and need for “warm banks”
Lewis also warned of the risk to people’s mental as well as physical health, and told the future PM that he’d received correspondence from people who planned to boycott their energy payments if prices rose further.
He also called on councils to roll out “warm banks” ie local buildings and libraries where people can go during the winter to keep warm if they can’t afford to heat their home.
The Money Saving Expert website has more information about the predictions made in this video
Who are the Conservative leadership candidates?
Ms Mordaunt made waves in 2019 as the UK’s first female defence secretary before being fired by Mr Johnson shortly after becoming PM.
Ms Mordaunt has many strings to her bow – she is a Royal Navy reservist, the current trade minister and a former reality television contestant, having appeared on the Tom Daley-fronted diving show Splash.
She played a prominent role in the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and has previously reportedly enjoyed the backing of Dame Andrea Leadsom among others.
The former Chancellor’s rise from relative obscurity to household name came as he turned on the spending taps to protect jobs through the furlough scheme when the coronavirus pandemic struck.
But his stock took a tumble more recently following disclosures that his wife had non-dom status for tax purposes, and that he was too slow to respond to the cost-of-living crisis
The Foreign Secretary has made little secret of her leadership ambitions, with a series of high-profile interventions and photo opportunities in which she appeared to be channelling late PM Margaret Thatcher.
Her hard line on Ukraine, insisting Russian forces must be driven from the country, and threats to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU, play well with sections of the party.
Away from politics, Ms Truss’s flair for social media has seen her offer an insight into life outside of Westminster by updating her Instagram account with pictures of her relaxing at the beach, or behind the scenes at official events, though her passions combined to bizarre effect in 2014 when her improbably enthusiastic speech about opening pork markets in Beijing went viral.
Kemi Badenoch – Eliminated
Former equalities minister and MP for Saffron Walden Kemi Badenoch threw her hat into the ring with a plan for a smaller state and a government “focused on the essentials”.
Ms Badenoch said she will deliver tax cuts “to boost growth and productivity and accompanied by tight spending discipline”. Ms Badenoch may be considered an outsider for the leadership given the Tory grandees already in the running, but her profile was boosted by an endorsement from Michael Gove on Sunday.
Tom Tugendhat – Eliminated
Eliminated. The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat became the first contender to officially throw his hat in the ring, saying he was putting together a “broad coalition” offering a “clean start”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the former soldier said: “I have served before – in the military, and now in Parliament. Now I hope to answer the call once again as prime minister.”
Suella Braverman – Eliminated
Attorney General Suella Braverman was one of the first to openly say that she would stand in a leadership contest as she called for the Prime Minister to quit.
Jeremy Hunt – Eliminated
Failed to secure enough MP votes in the first round.
The former foreign secretary and ex-health secretary has been a persistent backbench critic of Mr Johnson and had called on the Prime Minister to quit.
Mr Hunt is making a fresh bid for the leadership, having been runner-up to Mr Johnson in 2019.
Nadhim Zahawi – Eliminated
Failed to secure enough MP votes in the first round.
The former education secretary is regarded by some as a “safe pair of hands” if other candidates prove too divisive
Iraqi-born Mr Zahawi was a successful businessman and came to wider prominence as vaccines minister during the pandemic where he was credited with playing a key part in the successful rollout of the jab.
Sajid Javid – Withdrawn
Sajid Javid pulled out of the race to succeed Boris Johnson as Tory leader moments before the official nominations were revealed. In a statement, the former health secretary said: “Serving in Government is a true privilege. It has been just seven days since I took the difficult decision to resign from the most important job I have ever had, as health secretary during a pandemic.
“Since then, I have set out the values and policies I think are right for the future of our great country. I believe the party must now look outwards, not inwards, if we are to win again.
“There is an abundance of both ideas and talent in our party. One of the candidates will be given the honour of becoming Prime Minister.
Rehman Chishti – Withdrawn
The newly appointed Foreign Office minister announced his bid for the top job via a Facebook post but withdrew from the race tweeting “I will not be taking my campaign any further for the leadership of our party as I have not been able to secure the necessary parliamentary backing”.
Grant Shapps – Withdrawn from contest
The Transport Secretary had put himself forward as a leadership candidate, but withdrew from the contest after it was announced that candidates would need 20 MPs to back their nomination.
In a tweet, he said he was now supporting former chancellor Rishi Sunak: “Amongst a field of brilliant candidates, I’ve spoken to Rishi Sunak who I believe has the competence and experience to lead this country.”
Steve Baker – Not running
Prominent Brexiteer and former minister Steve Baker, a senior Tory backbencher had said he was considering running for the position, but eventually dropped out of the leadership race and announced he will support Suella Braverman.
Ben Wallace – Not running
The Defence Secretary was an early favourite for the leadership but ruled himself out on Saturday.
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