My kids are bedbound in onesies to keep warm, struggling caller tells James O'Brien

3 February 2022, 13:35

By Tim Dodd

This caller, struggling to heat her home amid rising energy bills, tells James O'Brien her family are "not even talking to each other" because her kids are bedbound in their onesies to keep warm.

It comes as millions of people face an eye-watering £700 hike in their energy bills, as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced support for households of up to £350.

Energy regulator Ofgem confirmed the energy price cap will rise by £693 per year to £1,971.

In response, the Chancellor has outlined three ways in which the Government will help - £200 discounts on electricity bills, a £150 council tax rebate for those with properties in bands A-D, and giving local authorities a discretionary fund of £150 million to "help those lower income households" who may live in higher council tax properties, or who are exempt altogether.

The caller told James O'Brien: "My husband and I both work full time. During lockdown, we were both working from home and the children were at home so the energy bills went up and put us in quite a lot of debt even though we were paying about £150 on a standing order.

"Then they rang me at the end of last year saying 'your bill's going to go up to X amount', and I said 'well I can't afford to pay that'. So I'm dreading what's coming next.

"It's not just heating, it's washing, drying."

Read more: Millions will be pushed into poverty because of energy crisis, says campaigner

She continued: "I never thought I'd find myself in this position. I was brought up in a home where there was some fuel poverty and food poverty.

"[My children] spend all their time in their rooms, in their onesies, under their quilts because we can't afford to turn the heating on all the time.

"So we're not even talking to each other some days, because they're in their rooms. My husband and I working from home, I say we can't put the heating on, so we sit in fleeces or dressing gowns.

"And we'd usually be working in an office where the organisation are paying the bills."

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