Advertisement
Social Justice

Energy crisis will leave low-income families spending £1 in every £5 on fuel bills, report finds

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation lays bare the extent of the energy crisis, with charities urging the chancellor to raise benefits to meet inflation.

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Katie Schmuecker, deputy director of policy at JRF said: “It defies logic to expect people to be able to cope with a steep increase in the cost of essentials when their incomes are not keeping up with inflation.”

Schmuecker criticised the chancellor’s current support plans for not going far enough. She said: “In a country as rich as ours in 2022, this is just not right.”

Up to four-hundred-thousand people in Britain could be pulled into poverty as a result of real-term cuts to benefits, according to the JRF. In addition to climbing energy prices, low-income families are likely to face £26 per month in additional food costs and Child Poverty Action Group’s forecast of £570 less in Universal Credit payments for families. 

The JRF’s campaign has been backed by various anti-poverty charities including The Trussell Trust, Save the Children UK and Child Poverty Action Group. 

Advertisement

Sign our petition to keep people in their homes

Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness.  A secure home is the first step in addressing the cruel cycle of poverty to ensure people can fulfil their potential. Join us to keep people in their homes.

Recommended for you

Read All
Here's when people got the disability cost of living payment – and what to do if yours is missing
Cost of living crisis

Here's when people got the disability cost of living payment – and what to do if yours is missing

How young people in prison are getting a fresh start by giving free haircuts to homeless people
Rehabilitation

How young people in prison are getting a fresh start by giving free haircuts to homeless people

GB News slammed as Laurence Fox suspended over 'misogynistic attack' on female journalist
GB News

GB News slammed as Laurence Fox suspended over 'misogynistic attack' on female journalist

When will the cost of living crisis end and will prices in the UK ever go down?
Cost of living crisis

When will the cost of living crisis end and will prices in the UK ever go down?

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment in 2023
3.

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment in 2023

Citroën Ami: the tiny electric vehicle driving change with The Big Issue
4.

Citroën Ami: the tiny electric vehicle driving change with The Big Issue