Mum ‘incredibly angry’ as £650 support payment ‘not enough’ to face price cap rise
Ria, 41, from London, has told Express.co.uk that the current energy crisis has caused her to feel stressed and upset but most of all, it has caused her to feel incredibly angry. Ria has three children, one of whom has a disability and uses a wheelchair. She explained how her current situation has left her mentally and physically drained but the thought of Ofgem’s energy price cap rising again has caused her to feel physically sick with anxiety.
Ria explained: “Right now, we’re struggling and I feel trapped because there isn’t any option for me to change my energy usage. I’m on a prepayment meter and I can’t change to anything else so I don’t how I’m supposed to cope if my bills go up again.”
According to the latest prediction from analysts at Cornwall Insight, it is predicted that the energy watchdog’s price cap looks set to increase by around 65 percent. This will mean that energy bills could increase to around £3,244 per year.
Before the energy crisis, Ria was able to pay £25 a week for her meter to cover her electricity use. However, since the price for wholesale has skyrocketed, Ria now has to pay £75 to cover a week’s usage.
Ria believes that her emotions are only going to get bigger as winter approaches.
She said: “I am only going to get more frustrated and upset as we get closer to Christmas because it just looks like it is going to be so hard. I cannot even think about celebrating it because I’m just not going to have any money. What will there be to celebrate?
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“I can’t imagine any further than that because I’m just not hopeful anymore, no one can tell us when this is going to end, will it ever end? No one seems to know.”
Ria said that her children’s well-being is also taking a massive hit due to the energy crisis which has also fueled her frustrations.
Ria explained how she cannot afford to pay for her children to join a sports club like swimming or dance, or an activity which could let them discover new interests and offer them a sense of wellbeing.
On a daily level, as she is trying to reduce her household’s energy usage, she says that she cannot even let them play a video game that they enjoy or let them watch the television for too long.
She said: “I am sacrificing all of my spare time to work, so I can better my children’s lives but all of my spare time is working and it’s not giving me the chance to attempt to better their lives because I’m working but coming out with nothing at the end of the month.
“How am I meant to my children when I can only provide them with just about the basics? It’s not fair whatsoever.”
Ria explained how she also gets emotional when she thinks of others who are in even harder positions than her such as pensioners and those who can’t or are unable to work.
The Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis published a video this week calling on urgent and immediate plans to be put forward by the Government to help the UK combat the effects of the price cap rise.
In his video, Mr Lewis warned that the UK was about to hit a “financial cataclysm” if nothing is done as the new Prime Minister will have just taken the post as the price cap comes into effect.
Ria agrees with Mr Lewis that urgent action is needed and that the Conservative party leaders need to prioritise the energy crisis above everything else.
Ria said: “Something has to happen right now, it should’ve happened yesterday. We cannot wait any longer.
“People are going to suffer, and I mean actually suffer because of this. People’s mental health is going to be pushed to breaking point and, I hate to even think about it, but people are going to be physically affected too and that is just so scary.”
Mr Lewis also highlighted his worry on this in his video stating that the mental health of millions will be significantly affected and that he believes that “lives could be lost”.
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Ria is entitled to the £650 cost of living support payment however has stated that this will not do much to help her situation and that it is “not enough” to tackle what is going to happen this October.
She also believes that this should not be the route that the Government should continue to go down.
She explained: “It’s a plaster on a gaping wound, giving us a lump sum of money is not the answer. It’s just going to keep going up and going up and the Government will eventually say that they can’t do it anymore and then what.”
Ria believes that the Government needs to step in and take control of the energy companies and nationalise them in order to regulate the bills or that it needs to pay at least part of people’s monthly bills.
She said: “I am angry, I’m very angry. No one has signed up for this and no one has done anything to deserve this.
“This winter, people are going to be very cold or very hungry, we’re all sacrificing a lot to just survive, we’re not living anymore and I do not think that this is okay at all.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices which is why we have acted to protect the 8 million most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 of direct payments this year with additional support for pensioners and those claiming disability benefits.
“Through our £37billion support package we are also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through a tax cut in July, allowing people on Universal Credit to keep £1,000 more of what they earn and cutting fuel duty by 5p saving a typical family £100.”
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