Price hikes may force Brits into fuel poverty

Charities and campaigners have expressed concerns for UK families’ welfare after energy suppliers EDF and British Gas announced increases in bills.

This week British Gas revealed its gas customers would see a 35 per cent rise, while duel fuel tariffs will rise 25 per cent and dual fuel pre-payment customers would see costs increase by 21 per cent. Electricity bills are to rise nine per cent.

Increases such as these may cause consumers to get into debt or, combined with other economic difficulties, even face bankruptcy.

The Child Poverty Action Group’s chief executive Kate Green said British Gas should rethink its plans as families would suffer from them.

“These staggering energy price hikes risk hitting the poorest families hardest. At a time when the cost of living is rising this is bad news for families and will cause further fuel poverty,” she said.

Meanwhile, Age Concern’s director general Gordon Lishman described the price hikes as “hammer blow for vulnerable groups”.

This week British Gas’ parent company Centrica announced profits of £992 million in the last six months, a fall of 20 per cent.

By Morwenna Kearns

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