Look: the “heartbreaking” choices the British will have to make this winter revealed in a new poll
Nearly one in four adults expect to never turn on the heat this winter, according to polls, with average bills set to skyrocket as temperatures drop.
The figure is even higher for parents with children under the age of 18, reveals a Savanta ComRes survey – conducted before the announcement of the new price cap last week.
Pollsters asked more than 2,000 UK adults how they would react to rising energy prices over the winter. 23% said they would not turn on the heat at all, with the figure rising to 27% among parents under the age of 18.
Seven in 10 (69%) said they would turn on less heat and 11% said they would take out a loan, with the latter rising again for people with children under the age of 18-17% .
It comes amid warnings that people are in for a terrible winter, with the energy price cap set to rise by 80% by October, pushing the average annual household bill from £ 1,971 to £ 3,549.
Nadhim Zahawi, the chancellor, said he is working “hard” to come up with options for an action plan for the next prime minister so they can “take flight” when they take office next month.
But some have accused the government of disappearing in action, while neither candidate for Tory leadership has fully explained how they would help people before the contest concludes.
The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the survey, warned that families are forced to make “heartbreaking decisions”, with the country on the brink of the worst cost-of-living crisis in a century.
The party is calling on ministers to eliminate the peak energy price hike in October, financed in part by a further unexpected tax on oil and gas companies.
The survey, conducted between July 29 and July 30, also suggests that parents of children under 18 are increasingly likely to put more on their credit cards due to rising energy bills (33 percent compared to a national average of 23 percent).
The survey results were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, gender, region and social class.
Christine Jardine, spokeswoman for the Lib Dem Cabinet, said: “Families and retirees across the country are making heartbreaking decisions because the government has failed to save them.
“It is a national scandal that parents have to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children. It shouldn’t be that way.
“Britain is on the brink of the worst cost-of-living crisis in a century, yet Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are not going to undo the rise in energy prices. It is clear that energy prices must not increase in October “.
Ms Jardine said an “economic catastrophe” is now “just a month away”, blaming “a zombie government in Westminster and two leadership contenders living on another planet.”
He said it was “time to tax the record multibillion-dollar profits of oil and gas companies and use the money to save British families and retirees.”
A government spokesman said: “Direct support will continue to reach people’s pockets in the weeks and months to come, targeting those who need it most, such as low-income families, retirees and people with disabilities.
“As part of our £ 37 billion family aid package, one in four families in the UK will receive an extra £ 1,200, provided in installments throughout the year, and all will receive a £ 400 discount on energy bill during the winter.
“The Civil Service is also making the necessary preparations to ensure that any additional support or commitment on the cost of living can be delivered as quickly as possible when the new Prime Minister is in office.”