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Millions of British households have been warned to brace for double digit inflation to last until winter next year – as energy bills are set to rocket a staggering 80% in October in the biggest crunch to living standards the country has faced since the 1950s.
Economists have said that Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation – the UK Government’s official measure of the rate of rising prices – could remain above 10% for the next year and more.Already spiralling costs are set to surge even if Bank of England chiefs hike interest rates, Bank of America economist Robert Wood has forecast.
It comes amid warnings that the savings of around six million British households could be wiped out after energy regulator Ofgem raised the price cap by 80% – sending the average household’s yearly bill from £1,971 to £3,549 from October. There are also around 2.2million additional households who will be forced to use up every penny of their savings come April 2024, according to research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).
The poorest households will be forced to spend 25% of their income just to keep their lights on. The grim predictions have piled even more pressure on Tory leadership rivals Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to pledge further action to combat the rising bills.
The Ofgem cap announcement today will come into effect for around 24million households in England, Scotland Kombi Servisi and Wales on default energy tariffs on October 1, and will remain in place until December 31, when it will be adjusted again.
The 4.5million pre-payment meter customers across Britain, who are often the most vulnerable and already in fuel poverty, will see an even more punishing increase – with their average annual bill set to go up to £3,608.
And things could get even worse next year, with experts at consultancy Auxilione using latest gas prices to predict that the cap will rise by another 52 per cent to £5,405 in January 2023, then by a further 34 per cent to £7,263 in April – before falling slightly, by 11 per cent to £6,485 in July and by another 7 per cent to £6,006 in October.
MoneySavingExpert founder Mr Lewis, who became emotional at times while giving passionate interviews to TV and radio shows this morning, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’ve been accused of catastrophising over this situation. Well, the reason I have catastrophised is this is a catastrophe, plain and simple.If we do not get further government intervention on top of what was announced in May, lives will be lost this winter.’
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