Britons face a host of problems due to skyrocketing fuel prices, while high inflation has lowered household incomes, something that hasn’t happened since 1956.
Consumer prices in Britain are rising at the fastest pace in the past 30 years, while the jump in the cost of living is particularly worrying for the elderly and other citizens on low or limited incomes, according to a report by The New York Times. Many people who have already cut spending are forced to review their family budgets again, refuse a number of food products and, in extreme cases, even temporarily cut off electricity and gas, as reported by representatives of human rights organizations.
Maureen Hart, 77, of Clacton-on-Sea, who was formerly a librarian on a steady income after hip and back pain forced her into early retirement, said, “Utility bills continue to rise. The British government raised the ceiling on electricity prices, the electricity and gas bill for April was three times what it was in March. To save money and be able to pay for the help she needs, women are forced to refuse taxi services and turn off the heating, even if the cold exacerbates back and joint pain.
For her part, Maxine Williams, 52, from Liverpool, who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affects the connective tissues, indicated that warmth was necessary to maintain her condition. However, after doubling her energy bills in April, Williams began reducing her weekly shopping list to essentials and cooking in the microwave rather than the oven. According to her, only one thing has changed this year – the amount of disability allowance. “I can’t turn on the heating just because I can’t stand it. It’s so hard.”
Gaywick resident Patricia Hutton, 89, who suffers from arthritis, said her bills went up, but because of her condition, she simply couldn’t turn off the heating and lights. “I pay all my bills by direct debit from the bank account, and if there is no money left for food, there is no money left for food,” she added.
It is reported that after the start of the Russian special military operation to disarm Ukraine, the West escalated the pressure of sanctions on Russia. The restrictive measures mainly affected the banking and technology sectors. Calls to abandon Russian energy sources are becoming more frequent. Supply chain disruptions have driven up fuel and food prices in Europe and the United States. In the UK, tariff increases affected millions of households, with inflation hitting 6.2% in February, a 30-year high.