If someone with significant financial expertise such as Martin Lewis is stressing just how bad the hike in energy bills will be for many families, then we’re inclined to say that people have a good reason to be angry and concerned.
The ‘Money Saving Expert’ has been doing a round of broadcast interviews this morning, on the day the energy regulator Ofgem confirmed the energy price cap for dual fuel will rocket to £3,549 a year for the average household.
“It’s clear the new prime minister will need to act further to tackle the impact of the price rises that are coming in October and next year,” said Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley, adding that the new cap will be “very worrying for many”.
Mr Lewis, however, went further, branding the increase “hideous” but “not a surprise”.
Bizarrely, his comments on Friday have reportedly led to him facing accusations of “catastrophising” about the situation, as if the fact that many people will be unable to afford their energy bills this winter isn’t an utter catastrophe.
Addressing this on Twitter, he wrote: “I’ve been accused of catastrophising about the energy hikes that have now come true. Yet let me be plain, ‘doom-mongering’ or not.
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“More help is desperately needed for [the] poorest or people will die this winter due to unaffordability of an 80 per cent SO FAR energy price cap hike.”
Oh yes, because there’s talk of the £3,549 figure rising even more in 2023.
Twitter users have been quick to heap praise on the work Mr Lewis has been doing amid the crisis, with some pointing out that the campaigner previously used to advise on the best credit cards before warning of actual deaths as a result of a devastating financial crisis:
The UK government previously announced a range of measures to support households totalling £1,200 – including a £400 energy bill discount for all households paid in six instalments from October to March 2023, a £650 payment for those on means-tested benefits, and a disability cost of living payment of £150 next month for individuals on disability benefits.
Although of course, all of this was announced before Friday’s price cap was announced. So that’s great.
Oh, and no government minister was made available to the media this morning to answer questions about the new price cap, either – and that hasn’t exactly helped the feelings of anger, unease and fear felt by members of the public:
Yeah, something tells us Martin Lewis has every reason to be alarmed.
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