This is the FULL version of the article I wrote for The Mirror on 8th Sept 2022. Read the article with snippits from this and comments from two other leading Personal Finance Experts here.
Finally, we have a new prime minister, a woman, who has promised to ride out this storm. There are a few Liz, a few storms I could list that need urgent resolution, but for this article I’ll focus on our energy bills.
In March the price cap was risen to £1971, or £164 a month. This was a £694 increase, or £58 per month increase, compared to the Sept 2021 price cap. The new price cap from October 2022 changes to £2,500, after the £400 rebate the average bill reduces to £2,100 or £175 per month.
This is NOT enough. £175 per month for the average three-bed, four-person household is a lot of money. This is one of the largest bills that we will pay, after rent/mortgage, food, then comes energy.
Already hundreds of thousands of people have energy bill arrears. We have £300k people on prepayment meters having arrears clawed back automatically from their top ups at alarming rates. Debt levels are rising, and the mental health crisis spirals deeper and deeper.
My Local Community
My community is setting up a food bank in Knebworth in September, a ‘middle class’ commuter village in Hertfordshire. Local businesses are bounding in with financial and bulk grocery donations. We have huge food, energy, bed poverty in a home counties village as well as inner cities and remote counties such as Cornwall. Everywhere in the UK has serious poverty issues.
The government needs to do more.
What about cancelling the green levy thus reducing some of the huge profits that renewable energy and oil companies are making. I urge you to watch the BBC Panorama program from this week to explain the bigger picture of how energy pricing works and why our bills are so high. It WILL make you angry.
What about getting rid of VAT on energy? A small bit of help, but it’s something. Or give some money to the people that really need it. Big families on lower and middle income. The child benefit payment goes to families where each partners income is less than £50k (tapered up to £60k). It’s a simple fix, click of a button, to increase child benefit payments, then money really goes to those who need to feed their children, get them to school and keep them warm. Simple basic human needs.
I want to give our new conservative cabinet a chance, but they must react quickly to reassure the worried and sick UK that they are getting help.
Please follow me @mrsmummypennyuk on Instagram or visit my website www.mrsmummypenny.co.uk for SO many cost-of-living crisis tips.
Season 5 of Mrs Mummypenny Talks podcast is out on Tuesday 13th September. Faith Archer and I share EVERYTHING you need to know about the cost-of-living crisis. Seven episodes focussing on food, energy, essential bills, making money, debt and saving for future. This podcast is kindly sponsored by PensionBee.