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Cost of living latest: Martin Lewis warns government to take ‘urgent action’ as energy bills soar

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TV presenter Dominic Littlewood shares energy cost tips with pinched British families

The government must release an imminent package of support to help struggling households cope with soaring energy bills, Martin Lewis has urged.

With an energy price cap rising to £3,500 or more, the Money Saving Expert founder said the “zombie government” must not wait until the end of the Tory leadership contest to decide on help for households.

He dismissed the extra help promised by Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during their leadership bids as “trivial” in the face of bills which are set to be £2,300 a year higher than they were last October.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

It comes as oil company Shell reported record profits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year while British Gas owner Centrica has seen operating profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion as energy bills soar.

Both companies profits were substantial increases on earnings compared to the same period last year, sparking fury from commentators amid a worsening inflation and cost of living crisis.

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‘Clearly not everyone is struggling with the energy crisis’- Friends of the Earth

The news of oil and gas companies hitting record profits this morning has been meet with fury as ordinary households are being crippled by energy prices.

Reacting for Friends of the Earth, energy campaigner Sana Yusuf, said: “Clearly not everyone is struggling with the energy crisis.

“These bumper profits will be greeted with disbelief by the millions of people across the UK who are faced with rocketing energy prices.

“The government must impose a tougher windfall tax on energy firms. The bulk of these profits should be used to insulate our homes and help cash-strapped households pay for their heating this winter, rather than developing more fossil fuel projects that roast the planet.”

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Four in 10 women and three in 10 men say they are struggling financially

Around four in 10 women say they are struggling financially, as are three in 10 men, according to “alarming” survey findings.

Some 41 per cent of women surveyed for pensions and retirement specialist LV=’s Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor in late June said they are struggling financially, with 30 per cent of men saying the same.

Overall, more than a third of those questioned said they are struggling financially, which was the highest proportion in LV=’s quarterly survey of 4,000 people across the UK since September 2020.

Some 38 per cent said they are worried about money – a proportion which has increased every quarter over the past year – LV= said.

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Martin Lewis warns of ‘huge mental and physical health risks’ due to soaring energy bills

Martin Lewis has warned of the devastating impact of increasingly high energy bills on people’s mental and physical health.

The Money Saving Expert founder tweeted this morning: “The situation is hysterical. There are huge mental and physical health risks to millions from unaffordable energy and food price rises.”

It comes after Mr Lewis warned the government to take imminent action to help struggling households cope with the energy price caps that will see bills surge £2,500 a year higher than October last year.

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‘We cannot perform miracles’- Shell CEO

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has said, “We cannot perform miracles,” in response to how to lower retail oil and gas prices.

Energy and commodities columnist at Bloomberg, Javier Blas, tweeted the CEO’s comment shortly after the oil giant’s record earnings were announced.

The oil giant reported eprofits of $11.5bn, doubling its earnings in a single year.

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Co-op Bank staff to receive £1,000 pay rise to support them with cost of living crisis

Staff at the Co-operative Bank are to receive a £1,000 pay rise to support them amid the cost of living crisis in the latest move to help cash-strapped workers.

The group said around 95 per cent of its employees will be eligible for the pay rise, which will take effect in September, with only those on the highest salaries not set to benefit.

It comes after the bank already made a one-off cash payment to lower paid staff earlier this year to help them cope with soaring energy, food and fuel bills.

Firms across the banking industry – and the wider corporate sector – have been handing out cost-of-living payments and salary increases to help struggling workers, including Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and TSB.

Details of the pay rise were unveiled in the lender’s half-year results showing pre-tax profits rebounded to £61.9 million from £21.4 million a year earlier, helped by higher interest rates boosting its profit margins.

The group said the performance was better-than-expected and it upped its full-year guidance for the net interest margin – a key measure for retail lenders.

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Electricity margins could be ‘tight’ this winter, grid firm says

Britain’s electricity supply might be tight at times this winter, the body that is tasked with balancing the grid has said.

The Electricity System Operator (ESO) forecast that margins might narrow significantly towards the very end of the year, but it believes it should be able to keep the lights on.

“Our operational modelling indicates that there could be some tight periods this winter, which are most likely to occur in the first half of December,” it said in a report issued ahead of winter.

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Chief executive of New Economics Foundation lays out three steps government should take

Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, laid out three steps the government should to confront the energy crisis.

She said: “ 1. Increase the #windfalltax on energy companies to reduce rising bills for those at the sharp end of the crisis.

“2. Fix our broken #energymarket: creating a collectively-owned provider that takes customers of bust companies & floods the market with cheaper #renewableenergy

“3. Insulate 19m homes to reduce people’s bills and carbon emissions, and keep homes warmer, with a nationwide #GreatHomesUpgrade.”

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Martin Lewis calls for ‘zombie government’ to take urgent action over £3,500 energy bills

The government must release an imminent package of support to help struggling households cope with soaring energy bills, Martin Lewis has urged.

With an energy price cap rising to £3,500 or more, the Money Saving Expert founder said the “zombie government” must not wait until the end of the Tory leadership contest to decide on help for households.

He dismissed the extra help promised by Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during their leadership bids as “trivial” in the face of bills which are set to be £2,300 a year higher than they were last October.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “It’s going to throw many households into a terribly difficult financial situation that will leave them making some awful choices.”

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‘Not time for another windfall tax,’ Truss says

Liz Truss has said it is “not time for another windfall tax” to help with the cost of energy bills.

Speaking to reporters in Leeds, the Foreign Secretary said: “What I believe is we need to keep taxes low to attract investment into industries.

“We need to turbocharge investment into the North of England, bringing more businesses and opportunities.

“The best way to do that is to keep taxes low and attract that investment into our great towns and cities, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Asked how she would help people afford to pay their bills this winter if she became Conservative Party leader and prime minister, she said: “I understand that families are really struggling at this time, we’ve seen a rise in global energy prices.

“That’s why I would reverse the National Insurance increase, putting more money back into people’s pockets. We’ll also have a temporary moratorium on the green levy, to cut people’s energy bills.

“What we also need to do is make sure we produce more domestically produced gas, so that we are able to increase supply and keep prices as low as possible, and that’s really important as we head to net zero, using gas for our transition.”

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Martin Lewis urges government for immediate package of support to help households

An urgent package of support to help households cope with soaring energy bills should be thrashed out by Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, a consumer champion has demanded.

Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis said the “zombie government” must not wait until the conclusion of the Tory leadership contest to decide on help for households who will face the energy price cap rising to £3,500 or more.

He dismissed the extra help promised by Mr Sunak and Ms Truss during their leadership bids as “trivial” in the face of bills which are set to be £2,300 a year higher than they were last October.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

“It’s going to throw many households into a terribly difficult financial situation that will leave them making some awful choices.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the data that informs the price cap suggested it would increase 77% on top of a 52% rise in April, taking the typical bill to £3,500 a year.

“Others say it will be higher,” he warned.

“We are expecting it to rise again in January.”

Mr Lewis said the choice facing the Government was “you either have to cut prices for people or you have to put more money in their pockets, especially at the poorest level”.

But he added: “The problem is we have this zombie government at the moment that can’t make any big decisions.”

(PA )



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