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Energy prices could be ‘final nail in the coffin’ for Brits’ finances

Looming price rises could see struggling households asked to cough up an extra £100 per year

New price rises could be nail in coffin for Brits’ finances

Rising energy bills in the UK could be the final nail in the financial coffin for many Brits who are already struggling to meet the cost of living, Citizens Advice has said.

Earlier this week, it was suggested that British Gas could be increasing prices for its 12 million customers by an average of £100 per year in the coming weeks.

And with this just the start of what is expected to be a uniform increase from the big six energy companies, homeowners’ finances will be squeezed ever tighter.

‘Perfect storm of price rises, wage freezes and benefit curbs’

Citizens Advice Chief executive Gillian Guy said that the latest round of increases could see Brits’ financial health significantly damaged, with many who have been struggling to stay afloat finally being pushed over the edge and not being able to afford their bills.

“A fresh round of energy price rises could be the nail in the coffin for people’s household budgets – many are already being pushed to breaking point by a perfect storm of price rises, wage freezes and benefit curbs.

“As hard-pressed consumers brace themselves for higher costs, it’s clear that energy companies must do more to make bills more affordable,” Guy said.

High profits are ‘hard to justify’

Guy went on to add that the prices being charged by energy companies are serving to increase their profit margins further. It was recently reported that the profit made by the big six from each UK household doubled in the space of the last 12 months.

She said that it was difficult to see the reasoning behind this when there was little change in what is on offer to consumers as a result of ever increasing prices.

“It’s hard to justify high profits when rising bills mean that many families have to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table. Energy firms must keep price rises to a minimum and make sure that any drops in wholesale costs are passed on to customers,” she concluded.

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Energy myths keep Brits from switching

  • Happybrian123

    Go back to coal fires!

    • Robin

      Oh, do tell us where we can buy cheap coal then?

      • Joe Smith

        Wigan. There’s tonnes of coal under our feet. 😛

        • Mike

          Yes Joe there is and we are floating in a sea of oil. Why when we produce so much oil are being taxed to the hilt? To support an ailing economy? The Norwegians are now possibly the richest, the happiest people in Europe with a fantastic health and education system…What do we spend our oil revenues on?

          • pj12

            it was all wasted on welfare; £180 billion a year

          • pdb951

            Imigrants and hangers on!

        • pdb951

          Forget the green lobby. Open some new coal mines to generate power.

          • vanbar


    • Sheryl Hepworth

      I would if I could!! Council won’t re-open the chimney and take out this heating. Would love a coal/wood burning stove!

  • bob

    These latest rises are to pay for the new power stations that are needed, w e pay for them and the private utilities own them,

    • weecg

      We also compensate them for the profit they would have made on the electrciity actually generated by windfarms (because they always have to have the capacity available to cover the intermittent wind). The system is broken and the consumers are the losers.

    • blessyz

      I bet you anything they won’t build any new power stations

    • sydney hobson

      exactly why I say there should be NO compensation we have already paid for them once, time the public woke up

  • sydney hobson

    Re-Nationise them with no compensation whatsoever

    • jim

      Re-nationalise them and the prices would be even higher.

      • sydney hobson

        NOT if they were run right how could there be No high wages and shareholders to pay AND the politicians would be held to account

        • pj12

          With gross profits running at 5%, I don’t know why they bother being in this business at all. Most large companies make 10-15%

          • Horus Thelemite

            Can you tie your own shoe laces? If so do you really believe the numbers these companies publish? Do you think that say Starbucks over ten years made no profit in the UK? Also remember these companies own the wholesale and retail divisions of the same product gas/electricity, so can set prices and profits accordingly. So the profit margins they actually publish have less to do with reality than a Scientologist.

            The last thing I would like to post about all this BS from the big six energy firms was a statement from Stephen Fitzpatrick, of OVO energy. He stated on the BBC Breakfast show (Don’t ask why I was watching it, I think I had a hang over and needed something light and meaningless on in the background). Anyhows, Stephen Fitzpatrick, sated that the wholesale price of Gas has not risen in the last 2 years and had actually dropped by a few pence a therm from 74p to 68p. So how come the large energy firms are stating the opposite?

          • MTH

            Profit is in excess of £7+Billion per annum, more than the GDP of half the countries on this planet… As for “Green Levies”, those might add £114 per year to every household’s bill, but pale into significance when compared to the 20-23% combined average price rise…

          • goldfieldsolar

            The Green issue is but a smokescreen – Solar for example adds only about 1% to the bills but employs over 150,000 in the UK.

          • goldfieldsolar

            Gross profits are way higher than 5% – they have hidden about double that in ludicrous “investments” and the like.

          • morgantindale

            Do you seriously believe that British Gas, now owned by Centrica, which I think is an American company, only makes 5% on its UK operation? BG is what is known as a vertically integrated company . This means that BG extracts gas and oil from the North Sea, and then sells that gas and oil to itself, perhaps to a company called BG Storage, (I,m making this up), then it sells that oil and gas to itself again, (perhaps BG Distribution, again, I’m making this up), then it sells it to you and me. In between these processes, £millions and £millions are made in profit, but because of the company structure, and the fact that Bg borrows money from BG, to invest in infrastructure,all profits are not taxed. This country loses £billions every year because of companies like BG.

          • MrsPicky

            it’s all clever stuff, isn’t it? Wheels within wheels, etc… and when their time is done, how do you think ex-prime ministers and ministers will fill their time and earn a bit of pocket money. That’s right, sitting on the board of the plethora of all the (‘hypothetical’) companies you’ve mentioned above… We are but pawns…

          • jason gains

            British gas american??? i dont think so lol
            British gas – french owned (Centrica is french majority share holders are british)
            EDF- French
            Eon- German
            Npower- German
            Scottish power – Spanish who i work for
            SSE- British

          • j dennison

            5% ha a good accountant can make a balance sheet say what
            it wants and these company’s employ hundreds of them.

      • Frankus

        renationalise… then go on strike. Remember the 3 day working week ??

    • Tim

      Better idea,
      Re-nationalise them with no compensation and then re-privatise them and get billions in the float.
      Government pays down the national debt without the cuts.

      • Billy Bob

        Who’d buy the shares second time round genius?

        • cwauk1971

          maybe normal people for their old age rather than profiteers

          • Graham

            What about the normal people who bought them for their retirement first time round?. No compensation?. Is that fair?

          • cwauk1971

            maybe those people should be given shares….its the middle men that have sucked the life out of this

        • 0ldfart1

          No One thats the idea stupid

    • PJ12

      How can you nationalise foreign companies? Even if you nationalised our own two, Centrica (British Gas), and SSE, there is nothing that can be done to reduce the price they pay for gas, or the ridiculous subsidies in our bills (£114 per year) we pay for decommissioning the coal power stations, for ‘green levies’ or towards wind farms that don’t work.
      Or the tax the government takes.
      Or the much higher costs the energy companies are charged by National Grid for upgrading the distribution networks.
      Presumably you are saying that state ownership means lower prices?
      Well I have news for you: the energy companies in Europe are state-owned, and it is they who supply almost all the wholesale energy to us and to British Gas. They also charge their own public much more than we are paying.
      So much for state ownership.

      • Horus Thelemite

        One word, Venezuela. If you have the popular support then it takes no time to remove an unjust multinational from your borders. I would like anyone to tell me that a nationalised company cannot make as much profit than a private company, when one that has to give it’s profits to share holds.

        Even Saatchi, is starting to see the light that capitalism is on it’s last legs and is going down fast, real fast. Newsnight 30mins or so in 21-10-2013.

        • Larissa

          I remember when Private companies mostly USA business went into to Norway to drill for oil. The NORWEIGAN’s allowed them to drill then no sooner did they strike oil a short while after they NATIONALISED THE OIL FIELDS.They put their own people first. Something OUR GOVERNMENTS never did, Sems the only Socialism the tories bekeive in is giving OUR MONEY TO THE THEIVING BANKERS

          • D C

            Did you know that the UK has the lowest energy cost in Europe AND the energy cost as a percentage of average income is also the lowest. Just get real and if you want costs to go down, swap to the lowest cost supplier instead of winging.

          • MrsPicky

            …er…did you mean ‘winging it’ or ‘whinging’…? maybe the latter…

          • Phil Armond

            problem is that there is only 6 suppliers and they are all in bed together

        • Uptonmanor

          50% plus inflation and empty supermarket shelves is a real winner with the public Horus. Long live communism/socialism Latino style.LOL

      • Phil Armond

        Yes PJ, but if it’s state owned, the profit goes back to the country to be spent for everyone, not stashed away in private tax havens…see the difference?

      • rojouk

        Saddat nationalised the Suez Canal (French and British owned at the time).

      • 0ldfart1

        You would save all the money from paying dividends out to shareholders or am I missing something?

    • russell55


      • kotsreveb

        Yes we can, if we really want to. Ultimately the government can do as it wishes, if it has the guts to do so…

        • Gary Smith

          you guys should move to castro’s cuba. see what poverty his expropriation of the united fruit co and others has done for their economy.

          • goldfieldsolar

            Oh grow up – every time some suggests renationalisation some clown points to Cuba or South America as if they are in any way comparable!

          • Gary Smith

            you’re the clown for suggesting renationalization. never. gonna. happen.

          • goldfieldsolar

            Well Gary – Labour have stated they might well renationlise not only the energy companies but other core service sectors. It also appears that they would have the support of the majority of the British public if they did. It might well happen me old fruit 🙂

          • dogdays1

            Have you ever noticed that governments that use socialist economics world wide, always end in poverty for all. Even the China had to give up on it in the end.

          • goldfieldsolar

            Have you ever noticed that our Capitalistic driven system with our FIAT monetary system is a complete and utter shambles? It is going to collapse – not IF but WHEN. The US economy is nearly $18 Trillion in debt and their derivatives market is over $700 Trillion in debt and growing. Its crazy. Whats needed is a completely different approach and whether you like it or not we will ultimately be forced to face it.

          • dogdays1

            I doubt it, as most of those who hate capitalism do so because they are not mentally capable of participating in the capitalist game. Even if you go to a socialist system they are always manipulated by those who are “champagne socialist” who milk them for all they are worth.
            Wake up; this is human nature,the sooner you catch on the better for you. As Darwin so capably pointed out, its survival of the fittest. It may not be ethical, but it’s how this world works and alas you will not change it. They have been trying for centuries and always failed.

          • goldfieldsolar

            This isn’t about hating anything – its about facing reality. We have a completely broken system with nothing but debt as its foundation. back in 2008 we should have let the banks go to the wall. it would have been hard – but not as hard as its about to get. Socialism is no better – that fell first – as will our system shortly.There is nothing to doubt my friend – even in the USA FEMA know what is going on (hence the 800 camps they have built and the 2 billion rounds of ammunition they have just taken delivery of). I take no comfort in telling you this. Look in to what I am saying. Unfortunately our FIAT monetary system hasnt got much longer – as I said – its a matter of time.

          • goldfieldsolar

            One other thing dogdays1 – our current FIAT system is relatively new – the Fed Reserve (which is neither Federal nor a reserve!) was “invented” back in 1913

    • Graham

      If you sell something to someone and then when they have paid you, you just take it back from them. Isn’t that called stealing?
      If you bought a car from someone and the very next night they came around to your house and took it back off the drive with a spare key they had kept, is that something you think is right?

      • 0ldfart1

        Yes you are perfectly right stealing it is and I and my generation that bought and sustained these utilities paid for them through our taxes and I have not had any money paid to me nor has anyone I know so we have had the utilities stolen from us for the conservatives friends and that’s why I say NO COMPENSATION we will only be taking back what we have paid for

        • Graham

          But if you didn’t buy the shares in the float you haven’t “bought and sustained those Utilities”.
          You just bought the energy they generated and provided to you. Just because you take the bus ever morning to work doesn’t mean you own the bus.
          And as a taxpayer you benefited from the money that investors paid to the Treasury for the shares when they were floated.
          You want to sell the same thing twice. That’s stealing.

          • sydney hobson

            YOUR QUITE OBVIOUSLY too young to understand about buying , selling and stealing, fraud etc sosuggest you brush up on your education

          • Graham

            Enlighten me oh great one.

          • 0ldfart1

            Well you say “you didn’t buy the shares in the float” wht pray would I wish to Buy something stolen from me it really is quite simple perhaps too simple for you to understand theft is theft and should be returned to the rightful owners ie my generation

          • Graham

            You clearly are a simpleton so I shall explain in what I regard as simple terms:
            You the taxpayer owned the Utilities BEFORE they were floated.
            When they were floated on the stock market you the taxpayer SOLD them and got paid MONEY for them and so didn’t own them anymore.
            You the taxpayer didn’t give them away you SOLD them.
            The money the Government got by SELLING them allowed welfare payments to be made and Hospitals to operate.
            So they were not stolen from you, the government sold them for you and you were happy to receive the pensions etc that that money provided.

          • sydney hobson

            your are the simpleton (your name should be simon) I GAVE NOTHING AWAY NOR DID I RECEIVE ANY MONEY I realy think you need to go back to school

          • Graham

            If you are a taxpayer or receive any pension or healthcare provision or any kind of Government service whatsoever then you have received money because the Government who received it on your behalf by SELLING the Utilities either spent it on you, reduced your tax below what it otherwise would have been or didn’t borrow as much on your behalf. There is no other way this money can go.
            I know this advanced economics is difficult for you to grasp but perhaps if you have a dictionary (big assumption I suspect) you could perhaps look up the two words “Sell” and “Steal”.

            You will find that “sell” means to receive compensation (that’s money) in exchange for something and “Steal” means to receive NO compensation for something.
            You, as a British resident DID receive the money from the sale.
            You sold the Utilities and you received compensation in exchange.
            If you do not get it then you are indeed a simpleton (a stupid or ignorant person).

          • 0ldfart1

            You really are hard work aren’t you for your information I have paid national insurance stamps all my life these were meant to take care of all the things you mention and once again I did not sell anything nor indeed would I have as even a numskull like you must see how we are being ripped off big time ( but there again perhaps i am expecting too much from some one who professes to understand “economics” but obviously lacks common sense) no need to reply if you don’t understand now you never will no wonder the country is in the mess were in

          • Graham

            Is “Oldfart1” and “Sydney Hobson” one of the same or do the two of you take it in turns to answer with the same grammatical errors and incoherent arguments.
            Well oldfart why don’t you add up all the national insurance you have paid over the years and then compare it to all the pensions, free healthcare, free education, free prescriptions, winter fuel payments, free bus passes, free TV licenses, roads , street lights, maybe you have claimed unemployment benefits or housing benefits in the past. Then perhaps throw in a reasonable contribution for the Police, Army, coast guard etc and then tell me how much extra you must have paid for the Utilities that were “stolen” from you.
            The top 1% of taxpayers in this country pay 30% of the tax. The top 50% of taxpayers pay 90% of the tax and neither group gets much back as they don’t tend to claim benefits.
            So if you are in the bottom half of income tax payers oldfart then you haven’t actually made much of a contribution even if you have paid a few farthings in National insurance.
            But are you grateful, of course not.
            And don’t forget to tell Sid!

          • 0ldfart1

            I give up on you Graham what part of didn’t sell (o give permission for anyone else to sell) nor received any tax back and I have paid into the taxation system and NI all my life for the “benefits I get ) don’t bother replying ii don’t have time to waste on simpletons

          • Graham

            The Government bought the Utilities on your behalf and they SOLD them on your behalf. The permission they had to do so is called Democracy. The Government won a Democratic vote to pursue a policy of Privatisation and more people voted for them than any other party. I am sure you believe in Democracy Sydney ,sorry Oldfart.
            You clearly struggle to understand how the receipt of billions of pounds that the government received when they sold the Utilities benefited you, you seem unable to connect the dots between what the Government is able to spend on welfare and services and what they receive from taxation and asset sales. I give up on that, you’re just too stupid.
            I would guess Oldfart that you have paid nothing like into the system compared to what you have got out. Like a lot of people in this country, you pay diddly squit into the tax system and then use that to justify being looked after for life.
            You are very lucky Oldfart that you live a system where the top 50% effectively carry the bottom 50%. Ungrateful Oldfart.
            P.S Tell Sid if you see him!

  • Narotam Lathia

    My energy company (SSE) has admitted to making a profit of £2 per/week/household. Based on my yearly bill for both gas + electricity, they made 13% profit, perhaps greater! Why are profits not tied to RPI/CPI?

    • Honest

      The profit figure is based on the average bill.

      Your bill appears to be just under 63% of average ( 2012 figure = £1,279 )

      Misleading statements do tend to undermine your point.

      • Narotam Lathia

        So that means the profits are 8% and not 13%. The ONS says “The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 2.8% in the year to July 2013, down from 2.9% in June”. 8% profit is 3.5 times the CPI. Hope you get my point now. Hope you are not an employee/’share holder’ of SSE!

        • tim

          Narotam, when you say 8% and 13 % profits, do you mean they have gone up by that percentage or do you mean that is the profit margin they make on the turnover?

          • Narotam Lathia

            The profit I talk about is not what SSE may show on their books.
            I have received a letter from SSE saying “On the average dual fuel energy bill we make less than £2 profit per week”. This is £104/ year. Considering an average energy bill of £1280/year this is 8% profit. This is 3.5 times the CPI/RPI index. Now we hear British Gas jumping on the ‘Unrestricted Price Rise’ bandwagon. My own local MP has assured me that the energy companies can charge what “they wish”!!!!!!!! From now it’ll really be “………and the devil take the hindmost.”

          • tim

            But what has the percentage of the bill that is profit have anything to do with the rate at which general prices have gone up?

          • Narotam Lathia

            If the portion of the bill that is profit goes up then the overall bill goes up! All I suggest is that the energy PROFITS be the same level as RPI/CPI. The energy companies are free to push the profit margins UP every year. My own local MP (Conservative) has replied to me on this subject and stated that the energy companies are allowed to profit as much as they ” WISH “!

          • Larissa

            Yes because the TORIES ALL GIVE THE TAXES YOU PAY TO THEM as fat salaries TO PRIVATE COMPAMIES AS SHAREHOLDERS. Tories and Lib Labs are all looking after number 1. Always was the same its the RICH THAT GETS THE PLEASURE ITS THE POOR THAT FEELS THE PAIN.

          • pj12

            I doubt it is 8%, and that is hardly an excessive return, considering that they have to pay shareholder dividends out of it, and they also have to fund upgrades and new developments. It really isn’t just a matter of sitting there and counting your money as it arrives.

          • ray

            THIS IS A MESSAGE TO EVERY ONE ,[dont pay ur bills collapse the system]

          • carol

            Wow somebody with guts.I have decided to keep warm this winter by spending my time in public buildings i.e the town hall which will be beautifully warm for all the employees.Its a public space so I am entitled to use it.Theres also the library. I will take my knitting in and my book and my laptop and use all there facilities. Anyone think of anywhere else let me know and your all welcome to join me in the Derbyshire area.

        • Sheryl Hepworth

          Love this talk of ‘percentage increases’. Tell me percentage of what? My friend has just increased her staff in her business by 100%… mind you she only had 1 other!! Percentages can mean what you want them to. Without knowing percentage of what they mean nothing!!

  • Frank Turmoil

    We’re surviving at present, we’re paying the bills… but it is surviving not living.

    The UK has become along with the PIIGS a seriously horrible country to live in

    • Robin once of Spain

      It’s not just the UK. I have been living in Spain for the last 10 years and have come back to the UK because bills there were rising faster than the UK. I was paying over £100 per month for telephone and broadband (£25 in the UK) over £100 pm for electricity, £40 pm for water – all cheaper here. There is one exception – rates, they were around £300 per annum, but even that was a 50% rise over the last few years and is still rising. Food has almost doubled and fuel costs have tripled. However, the main question is why are Europeans putting up with all this? – most of the electorate in Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece want out of the EU, but it is never going to happen – why? Because of peoples apathy, complacency and their inability to get up off their behinds and demand democracy – ‘The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people!’ Justice Louis D Brandeis.

      • pj12

        no, it’s the fact that western governments have spent too much on welfare and other waste for many years, and now our nations are competing in a globalised market. We are still wasting £180 billion a year on welfare, and it is unsustainable because the public can no longer afford the taxes EG we pay £4 tax on a bottle of wine, 70p tax on a litre of petrol.

        • Larissa


          • Timbo

            Exactly Larissa. Notice that whenever someone Right whinger talks about scroungers it’s always the poor, never the royal family or billionaire tax dodgers or the Boris Johnson class, oh no, we mustn’t talk about THEM must we, after all they are our betters and were born to rule dontchaknow?????!!!!!!

        • Gary Smith

          £2 tax on a bottle of wine. get your facts right.

        • goldfieldsolar

          Most of the benifits goes on Pensions genius – look it up

          • Pensioner

            goldfieldsolar…get ur facts right…….Pensioners have paid taxes, and towards their pensions for over 40 years….I am one of them, and would you like to know….I am still paying taxes on the pensions, I receive now……one day you will reach my age, and you will find out…….PENSIONS ARE NOT BENIFITS FOR MOST OF US……We have paid into them for most of our life.
            And all this business, about GREEN TAX….Most of us know, that this planet does what it wants…as it has done all its life….Its what we call NATURE.?????

          • goldfieldsolar

            @Pensioner – you are missinhg the point – people blame the welfare system. I merely stated that the bulk of our welfare goes to pay pensioners such as yourself – so you get your facts right – its a FACT – look it up!!. Fact is that when the system was devised no one expected the old to frankly live so long! Your other silly comment about climate change is not even worth responding to.

          • MrsPicky

            Ooooer….I did….

          • j dennison

            so when you grow up you will be happy not to receive your
            old age benefit .Are you a climate change expert you seem to know a lot about it , or is it you just think you do.

          • Madseller01

            What is wrong with you people – the Facts are there – if you don’t believe me then look them up for yourself!! My views on Climate Change are based on what 95% of the worlds climate scientists think – not those that merely work or are paid for by the petrochemical companies 🙂

          • MrsPicky

            100% agree with that…

          • j dennison

            so when you grow up you will be happy not to receive your old age benefit

          • MrsPicky

            I think you might find that those who are reaching their 80s & 90s are essentially taking out what they have paid in to! Many started paying tax and insurance at 14 years old until their retirement 50 years later!! Look that up, perhaps?

          • Will

            As 30% of income tax is paid by the top 1% of taxpayers and 90% of income tax is paid by the top 50% of taxpayers the truth is that very few pensioners who claim to deserve their state welfare payments because they have paid in all their lives have in fact paid in anything like as much as they have taken out.
            Most pensioners don’t like to admit it but they get out much much more than they have ever put in if you add up all the medical care etc they get as well as state pensions.

  • julianzzz

    What’s a Brit? And who is the foreigner using the term?

  • phil-o-sopher

    Renationalise all Utilities, Transporttation and call ALL Chairman, Directors of the Board of these outfits, to account for the bullying tactics and avaricious policies used to dominate in the very priveleged positions they have enjoyed during the past twenty years or more. Their poicies have screwed both the Customers/Consumers and the Tax Payers. Their remuneration packages are a disgrace when compared with the average income amongst all of working age, employed or not.
    If you have a chimney use it or have one installed.

  • Princess Clare Bear

    When are people going to wake up and realise heating their home is a luxury not an essential?! My grandmother grew up without central heating, my ancestors certainly grew up without central heating and the human race will most certainly survive without the use of central heating!

    • Sheryl Hepworth

      I am 66 years old and never had central heating till the last few years either! Always had an open fire and was always cosy! Most older houses were built for open fires which warm the whole house via the chimney stack through the house BUT the councils, in their ‘wisdom’, have removed open fires from the majority of the houses in our area giving people no choice but to use the electric central heating they install!! When the fires were in, folks could go to the many woods around us and take windfalls to fuel their winter fires but you can’t do that now.. H & S put a stop to it for the danger it posed and there are no fires to light anyway! I’d LOVE an open fire again!! Endless hot water and you save on lighting as well with the glow from a good fire!!

    • eagle eye

      tell us how you warm yourself then or you are among those born with golden spoon?
      my ancestors grew up without technology doesn’t mean i should follow their steps, thus why we call something ‘development’

    • Sara

      What a ridiculous comment its a human right to be warm…! even in the stone ages people had fire to keep themselves warm……!!! did your ancestors not have fireplaces…? what sort of houses did they live in….?

  • Sheryl Hepworth

    As a pensioner getting the basic State Pension and nothing else I have, this morning, received the notification of my price increase as from November 15th. I will be looking at a rise of electricity in the region of £40 a month over what Im currently paying. Living in a council bungalow, with total electric heating and cooking I have no choice but to accept any and every increase thrown at us. As my pension won’t be increasing at all to assist me cover this rise something will have to be cut. Im trying to ‘treat’ myself to some winter boots this year but it looks like they’ll have to be forgotten or I’ll need to take a trip round the local charity shops (local being, at the closest, an 11 mile trip) It is slowly getting to the stage that I’ll have to look at re-homing my dog even though he doesn’t take a lot to feed, about 60-80 pence a day. Bad times for fixed income people, families or single.I do have a small private pension, payed annually, this year, on my birthday, I received my yearly pay-out….. £53.68p. Don’t think I’ll be going on a cruise with that do you??

    • Patrice

      Sheryl so sorry for your economic trouble. As a psychologist, I implore you to consider the harm and trauma that your faithful companion will suffer through no fault of his own should you re-home him. Some may think he is a “non-essential” but considering the dividends he has probably paid off to you for such little input, he is the probably one of the best investments you have. He will likely suffer emotionally from having been removed from his home, plus possibly euthenised. I hope you will reconsider, perhaps cut out some other small expense per day that will not cause suffering, rather than the dog. Best of luck

      • Sheryl Hepworth

        Patrice please!! Ive had dogs all my life 4 of them rescues as is my present lad!! Do you really think Id let him go back to rescue after nearly 6 years?? Come on!! My point was that if this government have their way many people WILL have to make the choice, feed the kids or the dog?? Id feed him before myself believe me!!

        • cry wolf

          So the re home the dog bit was all for effect.
          This is the problem. Everyone exaggerates.
          You pretend that its come to this when in fact it hasn’t.
          You may not get to read this. You may well be on a cruise.

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            No not for effect! I personally know 3 families that have had to make that choice AND they are working families!! One of them has had to use a food bank in the last few months too so take a good look around and you will find it’s a real possibility for many people! I haven’t had a holiday of any sort since I finished work 4 years ago. YES I did work beyond retirement age to try and build a bit more credit but through ill health had to give up. That I didn’t say anything about though, so don’t try and make out I’m a moaning scounger, read some of my other comments to people!! I would really love for some folks including some of our ‘caring’ government to try living for 6 months on a fixed income!! We’re all in this together??? Don’t make me laugh!!

          • cry wolf

            But you said that you were so hard up that YOU were considering re housing your dog.
            That wasn’t true.

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            No if you read it properly I said it MAY come to that!!

          • cry wolf

            No it doesn’t.

            Nowhere does it say MAY.

            What you actually said was that it was, I quote:
            “getting to the stage that I’ll HAVE to look at re-homing my dog”
            And even if you had said may, which you didn’t, it wouldn’t have been true because you later ruled out the possibility.
            Which is why I said that you only put it in for effect.

          • What?

            Cry Wolf, get a life, or better yet listen to the real message, the person is really worried about the amount they have to pay out and having to spend the winter very cold. If you were my psychologist I’d be asking to see your certificate, I suspect it’s a photocopy with a bit of tip-ex. Get the money back for the rip off internet course you took.

          • Jim O’Toole


            Cry Wolf is not the psychologist, Patrice is. YOU maybe need to read the post properly. But I agree with him that she exaggerated, as she claims that her monthly electric will rise by £40 a month, which at a 10% rise in energy cost means she must be paying £400 a month at the moment, which I don’t believe.

      • Timbo

        Patrice, as a psychologist you probably have a steady Middle class income and the affluent lifestyle that goes with it. It is obvious that though you mean well, and are speaking from the heart, you just do not understand the plight many poor people, single mothers, pensioners, families, unemployed people and even people who work on pathetic low wages and zero hours contracts are going through with this present Tory government. 500,000 people are going to foodbanks in the UK, yes the UK, the 7th wealthiest country in the world!!!!!! And 2/3 of these people are working or come from a family where someone is working.
        The growing divisions between the affluent Middle class and the poorer Working class now is a scandal enough which few seem to remark on, as long as it doesn’t affect their cosy lifestyle, but the divisions between the very wealthy and the very poorest is an obscenity of almost biblical proportions. This government are like the Roman Empire of yesterday.

        • simon

          The reason that more people are going to food banks is because there are more food banks. There will always be plenty of people willing to take free food. What determines how much food is given out by food banks is how much food is given to them not how many people want free food. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that because more people are given free food there must be more poverty. It is precisely because we are the 7th richest country that we can give 500,000 people free food. There aren’t many people given free food in Kenya but it isn’t because they are all rich and don’t need it.

    • adsdlite

      Don’t get rid of your dog love, he’s good company & can keep you warm.
      I’ll help you with the bills even though I’m disabled & struggle myself.

    • Shareholder Steve

      Shame you didn`t bother to prepare for your retirement when you were younger. Oh well.

      • Sheryl Hepworth

        Oh but I did. I and my late husband both took out private pensions when we were self employed in our own business, at the age of 48, but he was taken seriously ill and we had to sell up. He was, after that, to ill to work again but I returned to full time work. I had a pension with my last 2 jobs but at the age (50+) I was, I would have had to put away about £300 a month which was impossible. Had I/we been younger then we/I would have been in a better position now. So please do not be so high and mighty with your comments. I have worked all my life apart from 6 years when I had the children at home. I have never been unemployed nor was my husband. To finish, when I was younger, as you put, there was NO private pensions or the like so your stuffy, self righteous comment, was made from an obvious lack of knowledge about this countrys past pension arrangements.

        • vince

          If you put money into a private pension when you were self employed it is still there whether you sold up the business or not. You cant take money out of a pension until it is drawn. Also, the pensions you had with your last 2 jobs is either still there or if you only paid in for less than 2 years the money would have been paid back into SERPS. Either way you should be getting something from either your old private pension schemes or in additional state pension from SERPS.
          You just cant just be on the basic state pension if you have been in 3 different private pension schemes.

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            I am getting an annuity from the ‘investment’ of the total in my private pensions… pay-out of ‘profits’ this year……. £53.68 I think it was!! So small a pay-out that the council ignore it for working out my rent and council tax rebates!!! Someone is making money out of these pension investments but it isn’t the pensioners!! Im even expected to pay income tax on thsi pension at source!

          • peter

            But Sheryl, if you only get £53.68 a year( £1/week) in addition to the basic state pension, you are not £2 over the limit for pension credits. How could you be. You should be claiming the pension top up.

          • peter

            Also Sheryl, the basic state pension is £110.15/ week which is £5,727.80 /year. This is way below the personal income tax allowance of £9,440/ year. You should not be paying any income tax at all.
            Go and speak with someone at the Citizens Advice Bureau they will sort you out.

        • pj12

          Sheryl, you seem to be one of the many who saved for their own pension, only to find that the drinking classes spent all their money and now get means-tested top-ups, making them much better off than you. I know people in both categories, and I think it is diabolical.
          The new pension system, however, means everyone gets about £140 a week, although I think they make a small deduction for time you were contracted out of NI, if that applies. And nobody will get the means-tested top-up, so it seems to me to be a great deal fairer as it rewards people for saving.

          • cry wolf

            But if she is only on the State pension and gets no other income as she says she didn’t actually save anything for her retirement.

        • Jim O’Toole

          Sheryl, either you are confused or are holding information back.
          Sad that you husband was unable to work at age 48.
          Your situation stems from the fact that as self employed business people you should have been saving into a pension fund ALL the time you were self employed, or paid the full stamp as employed people did. The history of state pensions were: Graduated pension, SERPS, and now 2nd state pension. Any of these would have given you an extra pension as well as your meagre annuity of £58 ?? As you said you worked all your life apart from 6 years, then surely you must have paid into serps or a company scheme or saved for your old age if in business ? Same for your husband? Are you sure you are not entitled to more state pension? Contact the Pensions Agency and ask for a history of your contributions, if any, towards additional pension.
          But as others have said, if you only receive the basic of £105 ish a week, then you should be able to claim pension credit, it’s a no brainer, contact the pension agency .
          It might not apply to you but, a lot of women never pay into a pension because they expect their husband’s pension to be enough, sadly your husbands wasn’t. If your energy bill is too high, consider looking online at uSwitch to see if you can get cheaper. Good luck.

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            Jim thanks for the comment but the £58 is the annuity from both our private pensions. We were one of the unlucky folks that trusted a financial advisor who got us, supposedly, a second mortgage on our house to get us into business but did a runner with £60,000 so we not only lost the business but the house too!! I transfered my company pension into the private fund and get graduated pension too of £17,00 on top of the basic pension. If I apply now for pension credits, which with poor payout I would be entitled to, I would loose some of my rent and council tax rebate which, stupidly, would leave me with even less per week than I get now!!! The credits system is supposed to ‘top up’ allowances to the top but in truth what they give you with one hand the take away with the other! Please don’t think Im stupid and haven’t looked in to all the avenues you mention, I have and both my husband and I did do and pay in all you suggest but this is just the way it’s come out for me. I do know a few other folk in the same position as myself so it isn’t just me!! Thanks again for your comments and wishes. Happy Christmas (when it arrives)!!

          • Jim O’Toole

            Oh my, that is awful. I now understand your situation. Your company and private pension only served to keep you just above benefit level and to be cheated out of what could have been your retirement savings on top of your husband’s ill health is more than your share of misfortune. I was contracted out of state pension for 20 years, I took the governments advice and took out private pensions, which like yours are pretty worthless, waste of money they were. Luckily I will have a small NHS pension when I retire or I would be struggling. When the energy companies put their charges up , they don’t consider that some people have no way of increasing their income. I changed my tariff today with nPower to a fixed rate but am still faced with a 10% rise. The government are so wet and tied up with large businesses that they haven’t got the guts to challenge them. I confidently predict that energy companies will report large profit rises next year once again. Wish you better luck and a happy Christmas , let’s hope its not a cold winter.

    • Sodthisgovernment

      Just remember, you don’t have to accept the rise in payments. They tried this with me and I said no way. I told them to take an extra £10 per month! You tell them, they don’t tell you remember that guys!

      • little bill

        Nice one. You should try the same tactic in Tesco. When the nice lady at the till asks you for £60 for the goods you bought you should say “no way”, you tell em, tell them they can have £30 but no more.
        What I suspect is happening is that by using an extra £20 a month of fuel and only paying an extra £10 a month in payments you might find that you are building up a big unpaid bill. They don’t tell you, remember that guys!

    • chinkron UK

      Does that mean you’re currently paying £500 per month then? Are you sure there’s not a cannabis farm next door, erroneously powered by siphoning off your electricity supply??!! Given that SSE are the only suppliers to confirm a price rise for 15 November at approximately 8% and as you’ve stated your increase will be £40 per month above the £6000 per year you must already be paying….I would seriously start investigating!! I would wager your increase is more in the region of £40 per year…however, your woeful tale of re-homing poor Lassie while trekking the 22 mile round trip…no doubt in the snow…and in only your threadbare, hole riddled summer sandals, to forage the nearest Oxfam/Help the Aged/Red Cross charity outlet, for that bargain 25p pair of winter boots…undoubtedly….makes for much more emotionally provocative reading!! (But let’s not forget the £135 per year, Warm Home Discount, you undoubtedly receive from your electricity supplier…oh and the £200-£300 Winter Fuel Payment from the Government…ooh and the additional Cold Weather Payments of £25 per week should temperatures dip this year…in the spirit of ‘balance’ of course need to be mentioned!) But good luck with those boots…hey just a thought but you should try and keep hold of Lassie..might come in useful…if needs must!! 😉

      • Kirbster

        chinkron UK, Sheryl says she is getting an increase of £40 per month not per week, which is entirely possible. Electricity has gone up much more than gas in recent years and because I like long term fixes, our bill has just gone from £1220 per year to £1660 (coming off a 2 year fix and going on to a 3 year fix with Scottish Power) and that is for dual fuel so if she has done the same and is a high user which if she heats by electricity she probably is. I know some pensioners are well off but for those who could only save a little and kept thier savings in cash, they are now getting 20% of the interest they got 7-8 years ago with few or no ways of increasing their income. Thankfully I am self employed so am the master of my own destiny but many pensioners and low paid are trapped and need compassion not condemnation.

      • Larissa


        • Gary

          Water is indeed free. At least the dirty stuff that you can get out of a river or collect in a bucket. But if you want it filtered and piped to your house then I am afraid you have to pay for it because in nature water isn’t filtered and piped to your house.
          I bet you’re a socialist that has not the slightest understanding of basic economics and defines a caring sharing society as one that gives you stuff for free.

    • peter

      If you only have the basic state pension and no private pension, which is your position you should be getting an additional means tested top up called the “Pension credit”.
      Nobody is expected to only live on the basic state pension.

      • Sheryl Hepworth

        Oh yes they are peter!! I am £2 over the eligible level of pension so do not qualify for pension credits and because I don’t, neither am I eligible for the refund payment of £135 a year from my supplier. The only extra I do get is the WFP of £150 in November!!

        • peter

          But you cant be £2 over the eligible limit if your only other income is £53.68 per year. If it were £53.68 per week private pension you are getting then I understand, but that is £2,800 /year but if you only get £53.68 per year then you do qualify for pension credit. You should go to your Citizens Advice Bureau and get them to help you claim it.
          Nobody in this country is expected just to live on the basic state pension. That is what Pension credit is for.

          • vince

            I think I am right that if you are over 65 then you should get some pension credit as long as your total income (basic state pension plus private pension) is less than £190 per week which means that Mrs H will certainly qualify for pension credits. I think it is called savings credit or something. Anyway, peter is right. If you only have a very small private pension the government will top it up with pension credits.

    • mark

      If i could some how get your address i would buy you your boots and help with your dog. Seriously

  • Blzbob

    So instead of getting the french and chinese to build nuclear power stations and charge us the earth for power, why don’t this shower of s*** bunch of clowns use the money they are going to waste on a new toy train set, to build two or three and give us cheaper energy

    • Daz

      they have to build the HS2 because the EU says so. The real name of the HS2 is the Warsaw to Leeds Express

  • bob

    E.U seeks to increase VAT on all energy bills

    Responsible department: Her Majesty’s Treasury

    The EU is seeking to increase VAT on all energy bills
    from 5% to 20% this would cause a great deal of further hardship to an already very large essential expense of a neccessity for basic human need.
    The government should not accept this proposal from
    the EU who once again want how dictate what the UK runs it`s own affairs.
    Now you know where the problems lay

    • Sam

      When did they do that ? and where ?

    • Joe Smith

      I remember a time when it was VAT free and VAT was only charged on non-essentials.

    • Larissa

      Why did we BOTHER FIGHTING TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY FROM BEING INVADED BY GERMANY? They now own our companies who charge a fortune for energy. What a disaster these Bloody politicians have caused ALL PARTIES. So now I intend to vote UKIP. Get all these foreign scroungers out and claim back our daily £58 million quid we pay to be in this CORRUPT CLUB. That could help the poorest to keep warm.

  • John

    I’m going to have to make more use of my woodburning stove (must get chimney swept) and I am thinking about using a parraffin heater for short bursts of heat and maybe start using some of those old oil lamps I collected years ago. What has this country come to?

    • kate

      You have overlooked one crucial detail.
      You still have to buy paraffin and oil.

  • Joe Smith

    The price is going up because global warming taxes are needed to make solar and wind power look economical. There is no free market in energy, it’s currently controlled by central planners coming up with schemes to nobble the most efficient ways of producing power!

  • Sara

    I remember when my kids were little a fiver in the gas and another in the electric would last all week and we were never cold, then id get a rebate and go on a shopping trip buying the kids their winter coats and boots, theres nothing like this now since they were privatised. The prices are ridiculous and being warm is certainly not a luxury its a human right even in the stone ages i guess they had fires to warm themselves, what a silly comment to make Princess Clare Bear .

    • Toby

      Actually, being warm isn’t a human right. Its a basic human need I grant you but nobody has the right to demand someone else provide it.

  • Phil Armond

    We are now experiencing the legacy of Thatcher selling the family silver and her personal vendeta with the minors, everything owned by foreigners and prices out of control. The tory government has just added R Mail so expect £2 a letter next year.

    • mike

      Did she have a problem with the under-18s?

      • Phil Armond

        Yeh, this damn coal dust keeps you looking soo young !!! ( early morning typo haha)

      • Timbo

        She had a problem with everyone in the end, because ultimately people like that hate everyone because at heart they hate themselves.

    • pj12

      Just imagine if some of them were still nationalized. If you are a luddite trade union member you might not like some of these unpalatable truths.

      BP wouldn’t be doing £100 billion deal to pipe gas from an Eastern European country to western Europe. The British government collects huge amounts of corporation tax from such business. And the largely British shareholders collect a healhy dividend, which is also good for our economy because they spend it or save it.

      National Grid wouldn’t be a major utility company in NE USA. If Europe had any sense they would let National Grid build a grid like ours for them, enabling them to avoid the power outages and overloads they are famous for.

      BG Group wouldn’t have contributed so much to the American shale gas industry, and in the process became a global leader in this relatively new technology.

      British Road Services would still be doing most of our road haulage, and be on strike every day.

      British Leyland would be building Rover cars at a state-of-the-art factory that the taxpayer paid for in the 70’s, but that never ran at more than 50% capacity because of strikes. And its cars were truly terrible…. I knew people who worked there and told me the awful details. Now, of course, we export countless Land Rovers and Minis to China.

      The rivers would still be heavily polluted because the water companies would not be able to afford to clean them up.

      BT would still take six months (yes it really was like this) to put you a new line in. And we’d never have got broadband if the government had to pay for it!

      The old lead pipes that are falling apart in housing estates all over eastern England would not be replaced until they completely failed. There has been an upgrade program running for a decade, involving private companies.

      To summarise, if our infrastructure was still dependent upon publicly owned companies, they would all have had to compete for government investment funding against the Police, Armed Services, Education, and most of all welfare. So no improvements would ever happen.

      Basically, there are no votes in replacing a pipeline or building a reservoir.

      Not to mention the fact that the trade unions would still be demanding incredible pay deals for all of those public sector workers the rest of us would have to pay for out of our taxes.

    • Timbo

      Phil. You said it all mate. No such thing as society translated as no such thing as poor people. In other words, if you were poor you didn’t exist and still don’t. Tony Blair said the same thing in a roundabout way: ‘We’re all Middle class now!’ which tacitly meant that he was appealing to the Middle class and above and the poor and Working classes were to be sidelined, marginalised and airbrushed out of society, or to be ruthlessly exploited to keep the chattering classes and the champagne socialists and our betters in the wealth they are accustomed to.

  • GT1

    The Government needs to tax the oil companies and provide rebates to the consumer. Every time they try to raise their prices the Government should tax them accordingly and pay the extra back.

    • jmac

      simple ! wer thers a will ders a way !! politicians wont do it !! the peeps wif de powa r the peeps wif de money !! wakin up u bunch of losers

  • prover

    So – what did you expect. This countries people have been exploited since Thatcher.
    Those stupid “green” people have done as much damage, (do they not use gas, electric
    and central heating.)
    Be careful I see trouble ahead.

    • tafmmac

      The big green taxes dreamedbny barmy Labour should be scrapped as well as useless wind turbines.

  • johno

    Move all the indirect tax collecting to central taxation. Then all income earners will contribute to saving the planet not just bill payers. It will also halve the profit per account that the energy suppliers make because they charge the gov to collect the indirect taxes. This will take £50 of of the average bill

  • daniel

    well done maggie thatcher,may you rot in your grave you callous selfish american brain washed person(mis-spelt obviously)you ruined britain period!

    • Tim

      What was mis-spelt?

  • Growlybear

    My Electricty bill gas been frozen for the past 2 years and the freeze has run out . Now a new freeze for 2 years is to cost 26 percent more . Obviously I’m not alone in this . My electrity usage keeps going down but it doe sent keep pace with my income .heating or eating is the name of the game for millions , whilst the energy companies profits go up by billions . What is needed is a windfall tax on these excessive increased profits

  • Shareholder Steve

    About time people took some responsibiliy for their own situations. Stop whinging and get a second job if you need to.

    • PC NOT!

      Well most of us suffer (31yrs old) due to the past generations culture of spend spend spend! Thanks for allowing public service sector members having nice big fat pensions and retiring at 55yrs old. Well whilst we suffer and pick the pieces up. You think were going to get a second job??! we’re working twice as hard as the old folks did back in the day. Plus we have all the paperwork to comprehend. Thanks

    • the reluctant messiah

      hard enuff trying to get 1 job ! ur solution is 2 get 2 ??!! wow ! dats profound ! get a life !

  • Thor

    If the general public have to make cuts then so should all the corporate companies make cuts in their profits. Crime is going to soar!

  • the reluctant messiah

    its this goverments job to protect us from these profiteers, in this and every other country, they are responsible. what have they done ? nuffin ! shameful !! why do u fink they joined the EU !! if they don’t do it then we must !? what affect would 10 million peeps not paying their bills have ?? that’d shake them up ! economic revolution is essential ! show them who’s boss ! power to the people ! wunda what the yahoo censors will do wif dis !!??

  • jmac

    oops wer did my post go ?? censors at it again !! told you !! oh dear !! we’re doomed !!

  • Walter Prenter

    They (the government) are now bleeding the stones!

  • radical bill

    simple tax any increase in profits percentage compared to 1995 at 100%

  • norrie

    The Gas and Electric companies have been told by successive governments to keep increasing the cost of to fuel to make ‘green’ energy, solar power and wind etc., more attractive.

  • fortyminstofive

    Private profits. I bet if they lost money, they would be socialised losses. Renationalise please.

  • enough is enough

    if have setup a website asking everyone to sign up to just 1 energy company (british gas) on 3rd november, if everyone signs up to just 1 company the rest will go bust overnight, the gov will panic, useless ofgem will be screwed, the switching companies will also be screwed. WE HAVE TO ACT….i cannot post links here, but everyone just do it…they have been taking the p.. for years, ITS TIME PEOPLE POWER (which is free btw) TOOK ACTION……or just keep sucking it up. i have no affiliation to BG but we have to choose 1….DO IT, all they will say is the usual switch/get insulation…how many more times can we put up with this bs…

  • Jim Clark

    Did anyone else hear the Energy Secretary in his statement to the House today say that if people cant keep up with their energy payments to their supplier just go and change their supplier? Its a pity we cant do the same with Energy Secretaries when we know were getting hit with another tax to go with the other taxes that are knocking the stuffing out of the working people of this country. Come on Cameron get a grip the suicide rate is going up faster than you and yer cronies pay rises……..

  • Doomsayer

    David Cameron and his government ministers don’t have to worry about energy process they get their energy paid for in their ridiculous expense accounts..

    • Larissa

      Yes and SUBSIDISED FOOD IN THE COMMONS RESTAURANTS. CAMORON SHOULD GIVE BACK CASH TO THE PEOPLE. THEY ARE ALL LIKE PARASITES THEY LIVE ON US. Imagine a Martian asking him what do you do to earn your keep? Why I talk old bean and they give me thousands of pounds to make a mess of my country,. But I am a MILIONAIRE so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

  • mo

    its greed from the rich .09% of the rich goes towards utility bills whilst over 36.00 % goes to utility bills for the poor or those who are on benefits. and those who voted for this gov really needs to think

  • Gerontius

    Our government is against our state ownership of public utilities and is therefore selling them to other states. So we have French government owned EDF raising energy prices here by far more than they are permitted to do in France. And EDF will be part financed by the Chinese government to build new nuclear plants in UK. Meanwhile our government continues to suck up to anyone with money while trashing their own poor citizens. Is it because I am so old that I find it difficult to understand why we put up with this?

    • Larissa

      God as everyone knows Chinese stuff falls to bit’s bad quality etc. And the French coming here to carryout FRACKING will RUIN OUR COUNTRY BECAUSE FRANCE DOES NORT ALLOW IT as it is TOO DANGEROUS. B

  • Sootie

    We are getting more like a third world country by the day! A far cry away from GREAT BRITAIN. Who would have thought in todays world we would be having to choose between heating our homes or putting food on the table and that is people working not scroungers as it suits our poloticians to call us. One energy company made a 2billion pound proffit while many of us are really feeling the pinch. It’s immoral and i don’t know how they can justify what they are doing. Just remember when its time to vote, we are NOT all in it together.

  • pobinr

    Another £2 a week is too much!

  • not2posh

    I am with Coop Energy. Their prices for existing customers do not go up until 8th Jan 2014 and then by only 4.5%. They are a not for profit outfit so get off of you backsides and change – it’s easy peasy.

  • Dennis Goodwin

    We are now living with the legacy of the Thatcher years, privatisation certainly gave us a competitive market to choose from (choose the company which rob us the least).We appear to have sold off all our assets or maybe given the away the recent floatation of the Post Office being a prime example.

  • jud

    I have just decided to change supplier to one who does not have a standing charge. IT is the only company and as a very low user I find it much cheaper. So anyone on their own who is frugal with gas and electric consider going over to a different supplier. That said I am on a very low income, looking for a job at 58 having just given up being a midwife due to stress. It could be argued I have a brain and am reasonably intelligent but I still cannot get another job. I am too old in many cases. Or if I am honest and say I left because of shift work they assume I am not able to work hard. I have no idea what to do because my £500 pension will not keep my head above water and I am not entitled to any help with job seeking or money.

    So my home is at risk, my mental health is at risk, my life is at risk. If things continue it hardly seems worth living. I often ask what is the point yet I know from years of helping women give birth their is or has to be more than this to life. I want a complete change and am willing to move from the south coast for a job.

  • diarmid lyle

    I dread to think what might happen when the interest rates start rising. People who took one out when rates were low will really feel it , on top of energy prices.

  • JohnnieB

    We used to have coal powered generators, when oil was cheap we decommissioned the coal stations, smashed them up and sent the scrap to Europe who sold it back as white goods. It would be much cheaper to scrub the toxic smoke they made. We are sitting on coal that would have made us independent.

  • person

    £100 a year increase isn’t going to make a massive difference for most British people. That’s an increase of £1.92 a week. £1.92 a week less that people can pay on weekly food shops that cost £30-£50 isn’t going to break many banks. This is just scare-mongering.

  • LBD

    How about just get rid of the VAT tax of 20% added to the bill first.

  • georg

    I was going to write and say the obvious answer is re-nationalise and get rid of the shareholding fraternity without compensation, but many more have beaten me to that It may well be that if our and many of the other governments involved continue to pander to the ”haves at the expense of have nots” the masses pushed hard enough themselves might just repeat history,, we have witness it all before mutinies and revolutions, Recent events in the middle east show how contagious such action can be when it is ignited
    I would also ask why we are no longer capable of building our own power stations ?
    Is this the legacy of past governments fear of unions that compelled them to break up our self sufficient industries ? taking the Great of Britain

  • clubrob6

    We are too dependant on imports,we have massive supplies of shale gas but the government are letting a few protesters get in the way.Fracking if managed correctly will solve our gas crisis for now until we develop other energy sources.I worked offshoe on the rigs for 14 years its all foreign investment so the profits are going abroad.Even new nuclear plants are relying on foreign investment.The foreign companys are just bleeding us dry for high profits we need to get our energy RE-NATIONALISED so we can once again use the profit to build our future energy sources,instead of it going abroad.

  • Narotam Lathia

    Best comment so far and fully agree with Horus Thelemite :-

    “One word, Venezuela. If you have the popular support then it takes no time to remove an unjust multinational from your borders. I would like anyone to tell me that a nationalised company cannot make as much profit than a private company,
    when one that has to give it’s profits to share holds.

    Even Saatchi, is starting to see the light that capitalism is on
    it’s last legs and is going down fast, real fast. Newsnight 30mins or so
    in 21-10-2013.”

    Down with the CONDEMned policies!

  • Mike

    Perhaps the head of British Gas could help out the pensioner who is struggling with her energy bill. He receives £3.8million per year plus £5million per year bonus. As usual, the working class seeking to destroy each other by drivel regarding re-homing a dog! For heavens sake, address the real issue which is we are being robbed by an energy cartel which makes huge profits and pays it’s senior staff obscene level of pay. It’s simply not a free market with ANY real competition

  • murphydog

    It is nice to see that all the privatisation brought in by Mrs T is coming back to bite the balls of this tory government, but they let us get ripped off, while taxpayers pay billions to subsidise a so called privatised rail network(where I work]

  • murphydog

    I use to have an uncle called Sydney hobson(RIP), he could always talk sense on any subject, just like the one on here.

  • murphydog

    it is time for the revolution, everybody stops paying. they can cut us off but but they cannot get us all to court cos there aint enough to cope.

  • Gerry

    i’m so tired of wearing my coat in the house or going back to bed to stay warm. At 57 i thought i was past all this crap. I have spinal arthritis but i don’t receive benefits. I turn off everything and have nothing on standby. I use economy 7 for my washing and dishwasher and i fill both machines to to the brim before i use them. Luckily we invested in a woodburner so keep warm at night when we sit down. How miserable to grow old in this country where we treat our own people as a cash cow to fund aid abroad and give billions to the wasteful EU.x

  • Larissa


  • Anastasia Fardella

    Hey, at my workplace we switched to Opus Energy. I really like them and they are a lot cheaper than British Gas and EDF!!

  • briang

    now that british gas have put their prices up notice how many times they advertise on television. they have to spend some of the price rise,to reduce the astronomical profite they make.

  • Jock Lord

    It seems that every day / week something else comes along to make it harder for ordinary folks to get by . Christ knows it’s too hard for pensioners and the disabled but they dont matter (Well not according to the gov anyway) whats next after this ? Are we going to see film of the bosses enjoying a holiday in the Bahamas enjoying themselves on ouyr money .It is time to make a stand Have a revolution .We have had enough !

  • Toro

    As a Canadian from British Columbia, were all electricity is generated from water, and were they have unlimited reserves of natural gas, the cost is the same, or more than in United Kingdom.

  • JayEss

    I think I’ll try NOT putting my clocks back this weekend – re the article in Yahoo News – we are retired so time doesn’t mean so much, and it will be interesting to see if it helps paying for the heating bills.

  • Michael Owen

    Any government that sells its Gas/Electric/Water/Nuclear/oil/coal companies to overseas buyers is “Not fit to govern” so that covers Labour and Conservatives.The only party left who will put country first is UKIP. But I bet the gullible people of the UK will vote for the Labour or Conservatives again, will voters never learn?

  • horsechestnuttree

    FOR DECADES NOW we have lacked the leadership of anyone who would gel and stimulate the majority of TRUE BRITS, the sad fact is that we are already LOST. Such a cosmopolitan mix of nation INTEGRATED into our country have no need to openly complain(They are not ruining THEIR homeland after all),and if it becomes intolerable they can always go back home. This IS what is happening , our devious duplitious political elite of all three parties have only their own pot to fill and stop any way of enabling the nation to join together in helping Britain to be great. Sure they have crucially agreed to overtly SWITCH the blame onto the scandalous treasonable treaties with EUROPA but at the cost of selling our manufacturing base and the health. education and welfare of the elderly .OUR QUEEN should DEMAND the immediate national takeover of ALL utility services…A national service to unite the young in welfare duties for the vulnerable, OR reinvest in POOR LAW INSTITUTIONS, or Kibbuttz style communities……

  • bob

    when the people snap and they will soon the riots will not stop until the govt is overthrown. people have nothing to live for in the uk and the people are ready to snap again

  • no no

    Just say no to the increase—pay your normal bills–But stop your bank from paying the increase– that is all it takes–they can not switch you off–it’s against the law–So if you all stick together you will win — Just like the big ones who never paid any tax–after all the ballu the taxman said this said that still no tax paid — A law onto them selfs–like the MPs making false claims –Still in the jobs doing the same thing only under a new banner .?

  • Gonna be there

    Not only households are being marched to the guillotine, the remainder of English industry is to follow !!!

  • Maxisdad

    we have the most chaotic energy policy in the civilised world. No proper plan in place. No intention to actually do something useful. A breathtakingly short sighted and ignorant government who only know how to line the pockets of landowners. It is shameful bordering on criminally negligent.

  • old dodderie

    here is the crack.. the energy companies put the price up…the government fines them for being naughty….they the put the prices up a bit more to pay the fines….the government fines them again….they put the prices up….and so on and so forth. you wait till we get the bill for the sun shining. glad i’m old. sort it out you youngsters…or you wont get old.

  • Iain Stewart

    Any government can nationalise a foreign company, all they are doing is taking into state ownership the part of the company that is operated within it’s own borders, from that fact given that any state institution is extremely innefficient, due to the number of civil servants(numpties) it takes to run it prices could either rise or fall based on the subsidy from the state.

  • John

    Someone being clever – a final nail in the coffin…..

    Unfortunately it is likely to be literally that for some people.

    Keep an eye on the news over the winter – or possibly hope for a mild winter and save a few lives.

  • Lou Ferrigno II

    i picked up on the point Robin made about the cost of living in Spain – as you can see its happening not just at home but elsewhere too – prices UP UP UP, from energy to utilities to fuel etc etc, now this i have NO PROBLEM with, so long as its in line with inflation and that my annual wages/salary is also going UP UP UP. I think the real issue here is not that costs of living are going UP but that they are going UP too fast and too often and that INCOMES are not following suit and hence the SQUEEZE. My own hunch on it for the last few years is that the UK and Spain etc etc are in SO MUCH BLOODY DEBT the government are now using whatever channels they can to pay down that debt, i.e energy, fuel, etc etc, technically all just stealth taxes…. i doubt we would be having this debate if the country was in a SURPLUS. thats the ideal ! we can only dream! one day one day! 🙂

  • grandma

    Just had info from Scottish Power that as well as the proposed hike in energy prices of approx 9% I will have another £199.95 to pay. As I was on a standard package with no standing charge Ofgem has implemented that I be changed onto a daily service charge of 27.39pence per day, per fuel. this amounts to £199.95 per year without switching anything on. How can that be right??

  • cjazz

    Why aren’t the new nuclear power stations being manufactured with UK investors and not Chinese and French? There will never be cheap energy with foreign investors! The HS2 white elephant project should have been scrapped and the money put to this project instead..

  • banksie22

    I cannot believe that nobody,gov or pundits are mentioning that stupid daily standing charge that every power company.even the little ones charge each day for nothing in return,it is like stealing money off us.What and why is a standing charge,why don’t the government ban it,thats a start isnt it

    • Tom

      It costs the companies the same to send out a bill, read the meter and take an enquiry from a customer who uses £500/month as it does for a customer who uses £5/ month. So it seems to me perfectly fair to make a small basic charge for all customers to cover these costs and then charge each out according to how much they use.
      It is perfectly fair which is why they have always done it and why nobody is complaining.

  • Steve Bateman

    Energy company bosses should take a pay cut for the next 5 years and NO bonuses.



  • Simon

    In the meantime the Times with it’s “cloud cuckoo land” editing is once again preaching “economic recovery”. We all know the reality from personal experience, and recovery most certainly is not it. Besides, if we believed every “recovery” headline they printed, there would be nothing to have a “recovery” from would there, branding the who things spin and lies. As is wishful thinking can glue the economy together, or lying and pretending it’s all good.
    Energy bills are one problem. Child benefits another. Caps another. Tightening mortgage rates another. Interest rates for credit are inflated horribly, filling bankers pockets, yet in the meantime we see ridiculous levels of interest for savers – those able to are moving money abroad, fuelling the downward spiral. Where did this all go wrong? Well greed started it. Spiralling property prices didn’t help a great deal, but greed meant everything that could be done to apply the brakes to the sinking market was done. And still they cling on for dear life, yet to no avail. The end is inevitable. Better to accept it and allow a recovery than sink the country for the far longer term inflicting such damage.

  • Simon

    In the meantime the Times with it’s “cloud cuckoo land” editing is once again preaching “economic recovery”. We all know the reality from personal experience, and recovery most certainly is not it. Besides, if we believed every “recovery” headline they printed, there would be nothing to have a “recovery” from would there, branding the who things spin and lies. As is wishful thinking can glue the economy together, or lying and pretending it’s all good.
    Energy bills are one problem. Child benefits another. Caps another. Tightening mortgage rates another. Interest rates for credit are inflated horribly, filling bankers pockets, yet in the meantime we see ridiculous levels of interest for savers – those able to are moving money abroad, fuelling the downward spiral. Where did this all go wrong? Well greed started it. Spiralling property prices didn’t help a great deal, but greed meant everything that could be done to apply the brakes to the sinking market was done. And still they cling on for dear life, yet to no avail. The end is inevitable. Better to accept it and allow a recovery than sink the country for the far longer term inflicting such damage.

  • Ian

    Mortgages and interest rates are at an all time low and have been for some time now.
    It’s about time the base rate was raised by 2% and kept there to help savers as well as mortgage payers making it a fair balance

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  • John Lloyd

    This is why when you borrow money you should take into account that there could be a rate rise some time when I and my wife had our mortgage rate’s went up to 15% so think how lucky you are had to sell my car to pay it

  • Richard Hood

    Setting interest rates is an interesting mechanism. Nobody really knows how the decision is made. For example, the Bank of England get a vote but how many other organisations are involved? Will the BoE get out voted next time? Who are these secret groups we have never heard of that could have overruled the Bank of England and if the BoE got outvoted would they actually tell us? It is interesting that USwitch only tell us how the Bank of England voted, but not the other players. Isn’t it supposed to be a secret ballot? Conspiracy theorists might argue that should the BoE want to raise interest rates but they were a lone voice against the-secret-whoever, Uswitch might mistakenly report that BoE had voted for a rate rise when actually the rate isn’t going up. BoE may have voted one way, but the collective decision was to opt for the opposite.

    • Tom

      Hi Richard, you can find details of the MPC membership here (the non-bank members are appointed by the chancellor of the Exchequer with set term limits), their votes are a matter of public record too. Hope this settles any conspiracy theorists out there!

  • Craig de la Bolton

    The basic issue is that there isn’t enough money. Nobody would surely argue that the issue is too much money. So rates are correctly priced at 0.25%. Savers, spend your money or invest it in ways that grow the economy. You aren’t helping anyone by your money sitting there, it is really just lost potential. Higher inflation will give you the incentive to spend and invest. As the government cuts it’s deficit, it’s going to be harder to save as the money supply shrinks even further, meaning there is less money still. May be a case for reducing rates further. Remember every £1 of government surplus represents £1 of debt for everybody else. Remember that government doesn’t spend the surplus. The money is destroyed and taken out of the economy.