This week has been brutal for the poorest and most vulnerable.
Last night Conservative MPs voted to hand bankers a tax cut worth £1,000,000,000 each year whilst at the same time they’re pushing ahead with their National Insurance tax hike on workers.
Meanwhile the energy price cap rise has been announced today at 11am, revealing a massive bills hike for around 22million households from the start of April, with the government saying that they will offer people that pay for their energy by bills £200 towards the cost of this. This won’t cover the price increase by any means and nor have they addressed people that use pre payment meters.
The predicted energy price costs are set to increase by £708 a year from £1,309 to £2.017 for those dependent upon pre-paid energy meters. For those paying by bills its set to rise by £693 a year to £1.971.
The apparent cause for this according to the energy regulator Ofgem is a record increase in global gas prices.
Where does this leave us? Millions of people including disabled and elderly people will be put in an unattainable situation. Can they afford to heat and eat? As from April the answer will be no to both for millions. Energy prices have already risen and already millions already can’t afford to pay this.
To cook food it requires the use of energy which will from April which will almost be tripled in price.. Will they be able to put their heating on for a hour in the morning and evening to warm up a little? I doubt it.
For the last ten years millions of people have been reliant upon food parcels to survive. The reasons for this vary from being sanctioned by the DWP, having to wait five weeks for their first universal credit payment and not earning enough money to pay the rent, bills and suchlike. This already leaves many living in destitution. A knock off effect of these price increases will most likely result in a decrease of food donations because people will no longer be able to afford to donate.
Not only will the energy price rises cause great distress I have no doubt that it will cause the death of thousands. Not being able to afford to eat any food of a decent nutritional value will cause illness combined with living in a cold house with no heating will exacerbate this.
Not only is this insulting its a deliberate conscience choice. As usual the poorest are being hit the hardest, like my MP Angela Rayner said ‘Don’t believe their lies about levelling up they’re busy punching down.’ They could have made the choice to make gas providers such as Shell oil pay higher taxes, nor have they offered to increase social security payments to help people pay these costs.
This is the highest increase of energy prices that have ever been recorded. Instead of helping the poorest and most vulnerable, they’ve chosen not to. It’s conscious, deliberate cruelty which will result in suffering and deaths.
I’m furious even though I was expecting this. Like many I live in poverty dependent upon foodbanks and cheap food. Whilst I was planning my sons funeral last year Boris Johnson and co were ignoring the quarantine rules and having a jolly good time. I was trying to work out who could attend his funeral. We were abiding by the rules for the safety of others.
My financial situation now leaves me unable to visit his memorial at the cemetery to pay my respects. This feels like a massive kick in the teeth. Not only could my son not be able to have all of his friends attend his funeral, I now can’t afford to pay my respects.
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