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29th Aug 2022

Nearly one in four Brits won’t turn heating on this winter – shocking poll reveals

Jack Peat

Martin Lewis: 'people will die this winter'

The Lib Dems called it a “national scandal” 

New polling has put the impending cost-of-living crisis into perspective after it was revealed nearly one in four adults are planning to leave their heating off throughout the winter.

A survey by Savanta ComRes of 2,000 UK adults found 23 per cent of Brits will not turn their heating on over the colder months, with the figure rising to 27 per cent among parents with children under 18.

Parents with school age children were also found to be more likely to rack up spending on their credit card due to rising energy bills – 33 per cent compared to national average of 23 per cent.

Seven in 10 people (69 per cent) say they plan to use their heating less this winter and one in 10 (11 per cent) will even take out a loan in response to rising energy prices.

Those with children under 18 are again more likely to take out a loan (17 per cent).

Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “Families and pensioners across the country are making heart-breaking decisions because the Government has failed to save them.

“It is a national scandal that parents are having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children. It shouldn’t be like this.

“Britain is on the brink of the worst cost-of-living crisis in a century and yet still Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will not scrap the energy price rise. It is clear energy prices must not be allowed to rise in October.”

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has warned that Brits earning as much as £45,000 a year could need government assistance with their energy bills as prices skyrocket.

He has urged households to try and reduce their energy consumption this winter amid fears that gas prices could remain elevated for another two years.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Zahawi said: “My concern is there are those who aren’t on benefits. If you’re a senior nurse or a senior teacher on £45,000 a year, you’re having your energy bills go up 80 per cent and will probably rise even higher in the new year – it’s really hard.”

Although Universal Credit is a “really effective way of targeting”, he said, other ideas are being explored “to make sure we help those who really need the help”.

Mr Zahawi is understood to have drawn up a series of options for the next prime minister to consider – and despite calls for urgent action from the energy regulator Ofgem, Ms Truss has said it would not be “right” to announce her full plans for tackling the cost of living crisis until a new Tory leader is named on 5 September.

The chancellor went on to warn that the UK is “in a national economic emergency”, adding: “This could go on for 18 months, two years, if Putin continues to use energy as a weapon.”

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