UK healthcare leaders have warned that an increase in energy the price cap could lead to a major humanitarian crisis and millions of Britons are being forced to make tough choices. With Ofgem set to raise household bill prices to almost £3,600 in October, experts have warned that a majority of UK households could be pushed into fuel poverty as a result. In a letter to ministers, the NHS The Confederation has warned that as bills rise, millions of families will be forced to choose between skipping meals or living in poor conditions.
Matthew Taylor is the body’s chief executive, representing NHS leaders, and was quoted by the BBC and The Times as saying: “The country faces a humanitarian crisis.
“Many people could be faced with the terrible choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions.
“This in turn could lead to epidemics and disease across the country and deepen health inequalities, worsen children’s chances of survival and leave an indelible scar on local communities.”
Next Friday, industry regulator Ofgem is expected to announce a new price that will come into effect from October.
Meanwhile, a number of groups including Labour, Liberal Democrats and even energy suppliers have called on the government to freeze bills at £1,971.
Two of the country’s biggest energy suppliers, Octopus Energy and Centrica, which owns British Gas, are said to have backed a plan to freeze customer bills for two years.
The plan, which is being debated in the industry, would aim to create a multi-billion pound facility that could spread the cost of an emergency funding scheme over a decade.
Under the scheme, commercial banks would deposit cash into a state-backed fund, which suppliers could then draw on to cover the difference, rather than raising the price cap on energy bills, which is currently £1,971.
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