The devastating impact of the energy crisis has been laid bare in a new report claiming low-income families will be forced to spend £1 of every £5 on fuel bills.
Families with already stretched budgets are expected to face an extra £850 in annual energy bills as UK gas prices continue to skyrocket. New research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reiterates fears that people in poverty will continue to struggle to keep their families warm in the coming months.
The JRF has called for an increase in benefits that meet the catastrophic rise in inflation so that some of the strain for low-income households can be lifted.
JRF research has also found single adults on low incomes could be spending as much as half of their incomes on energy bills.
Concerns over energy costs have grown after a significant rise in wholesale gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This comes as inflation is estimated to rise by 8.1 per cent in April with benefit allowances failing to keep up – they are currently set to rise 3.1 per cent.
Just six months after £20 cuts to Universal Credit, the JRF is calling for the government to provide essential relief for households struggling to cope with ongoing catapulting gas prices. The charity points out that, although increased energy costs will effect the majority of the population, families with the lowest incomes will face the harshest consequences.