Mum 'uses wax melt burner to cook beans on toast for her kids' as cost of living soars

30 March 2022, 08:30

Liverpool man highlights reality of cost of living crisis

Tom Dunn

By Tom Dunn

A single mother has resorted to using a wax melt burner to cook baked beans for her children as she can't afford to pay for gas and electrics, a charity has revealed.

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Gerard Woodhouse, who runs the L6 Community Centre in Liverpool, has told LBC of the devastating impact of the cost of living crisis on one young family.

The charity, which provides food and household items for families in need, visited a single mum of two who is struggling to make ends meet.

He told LBC: “On the gas fire, she had a knife in a piece of bread and told me she was making dinner for the kids.

“She showed me a scented candle stand that she was using to cook beans on, to make beans on toast.

“She had nothing. She told me she was frightened to ask for help as she thought the council would take her kids off of her.”

From April, Ofgem is raising the energy price cap, with some families facing a doubling in the cost of bills for gas and electricity and many facing the possibility of choosing heating or eating.

The energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit is rising by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1.

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Gerard Woodhouse, who runs the L6 Community Centre in Liverpool.
Gerard Woodhouse, who runs the L6 Community Centre in Liverpool. Picture: LBC

Prepayment customers will see a bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

Gerard said: “52% of the people who come to our foodbank are working. Nurses, teaching assistants, all coming for support, even though they earn a wage.

“We won’t see an immediate impact even though it goes up on Friday, it’s going to really start to change in three or four weeks when the meters change.

“These people, even though some say they are choosing between heating and eating, it’s actually worse than that and we could end up seeing deaths due to this.”

BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index recently found that retail prices rose in February at their fastest rate in over a decade.

Food inflation remained the key driver behind higher prices, particularly for fresh food, which has been impacted by poor harvests, both in the UK and globally.

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