The sharp rise in gas and electricity prices was already taking almost half of the people in Great Britain to their financial limits in the autumn. This emerges from a survey by the opinion research institute Opinium, which was published on Thursday. According to this, 45 percent of those surveyed said they could no longer afford the price cap, which had risen to around 4100 euros a year for an average household on October 1st.
Almost 40 percent of people in the UK are already saving on groceries to cope with rising prices. Almost 20 percent skip meals. Almost a third puts less money aside to compensate for the higher expenses. Nine out of ten Brits say they are concerned about price hikes.
There is enormous pressure on the government to announce measures to relieve households. However, a concrete plan is not expected until after September 5th, when the successor to outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clarified. Secretary of State Liz Truss, who is considered the favourite, only announced "immediate help". However, it is not appropriate to present details as long as she is not yet in office, she wrote in a guest article in the "Sun".
The government in London has so far ruled out savings in public buildings and other measures such as those in Germany. "Such plans are not being considered (...)", said the responsible ministry. The reason given was that Great Britain has a "strategic advantage" over other European countries thanks to its diversified energy supply from different sources.
Study sees millions slipping into poverty
Poverty in the UK will rise sharply as a result of skyrocketing energy and food costs, a new study says. If the future government continues the current policy, the number of people living in absolute poverty will increase by 3 million to 14 million by the financial year 2023/24 (March 31), the think tank Resolution Foundation (RF) announced on Thursday. That would be almost every fifth of the 67 million inhabitants. Relative child poverty - when parents have less than 50 percent of the average net income available for their family - will climb to 33 percent by 2026/27.
The think tank emphasized that the main reason was the rapid fall in real wages. By mid-2023, all real wage growth in 20 years will have been wiped out.
Next Monday, the ruling Conservative Party will announce whether Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is considered the favourite, or ex-Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Resolution Foundation stressed that given the scale of the economic problems, significant support measures from the new government are inevitable. The think tank proposed, among other things, additional help with energy bills and higher social benefits.
"Britain is already experiencing its biggest fall in real wages since 1977 and a harsh winter looms as energy bills soar to £500 a month," said RF expert Lalitha Try. The prospects are dire, so radical policy action is needed, such as an energy support package worth tens of billions of pounds.