14 August 2022, 11:28
Food campaigner Jack Monroe has denounced the Tory government’s ‘deaf’ and ‘privileged’ response to the cost of living crisis, as she accused energy companies of ‘taking us for fools’.
Ms Monroe swept aside leadership hopefuls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during an interview with LBC’s Ben Kentish.
She said their “let’s wait and see” policy on cost-of-living measures is “the most deaf and privileged thing they can say.”
It comes after crisis talks with energy firms held in Downing Street on Thursday ended without any details of plans to help those in need, following warnings annual bills could reach £5,000 a year next.
Ms Monroe said there was a ‘complete lack of urgency’ from those in ‘luxury positions’.
She told Ben: “For someone like Rishi Sunak, who has more money than the queen, of course he can say ‘oh let’s wait and see how things go’ because things are going to be fine. for him.
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“But he is not in a position, and not a single MP is in a position to represent his own luxury, his privileged beliefs, they are there to represent their constituents and each and every one of them – not just those who voted. for them.”
She said households were ‘absolutely petrified’ and many feared they ‘wouldn’t survive’ the cost of living crisis, with households warned that energy bills are set to hit £4,200 this winter.
In dire news for households, Cornwall Insight said bills are expected to rise to around £3,582 in October from £1,971 today, before rising even further in the new year.
Previously, bills were estimated at £3,358 from October and £3,616 from January.
In May, the government announced an energy cost support package – worth £400 per household – in response to forecasts that bills would rise to £2,800 for the average household in October.
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But experts at Cornwall Insight have forecast bills are now set to reach £4,200 from January, with wholesale prices rising again.
Ms Monroe accused energy companies of “taking us for fools” with exorbitant prices.
She urged the government to “crack down hard” on energy companies that say energy prices have quadrupled, “coincidentally while their profits have also quadrupled”.
She said: “I understand that this is a business and businesses want to make a profit, but that shouldn’t be their main motivation. It’s not just a product, it’s also a service, and it is a vital service.
“It’s a service that people, millions of people in this country, can no longer afford at the prices they charge.
“How can you justify millions and billions of pounds in bonuses and profit margins, when those millions and billions of pounds are literally being paid for out of the pockets of people who are struggling to put food on the table, who are struggling to to have a quality of life. This is unacceptable.”
Ofgem last week announced changes to the way it will calculate the price cap on energy bills in future – with pressured Britons now facing price hikes four times a year – up from just two.
Ofgem said it would now be updated quarterly instead of every six months.
He said the change would help bring stability to the energy market and reduce the risk of more suppliers going bankrupt, leading to higher costs for customers.
Labor will call on Monday for the energy price cap to be frozen at its current level of £1,971.
The decision to block a planned £3,300 rise in October is expected to put further pressure on the two Tory leadership candidates.