Martin Lewis warned the government of a “financial time bomb” due to explode in September as the UK’s cost of living crisis intensifies.
The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com issued an “open video letter” to the current Conservative Party leadership candidates and warned of even higher energy costs and civil unrest as the UK struggles with record inflation and surging energy gas and electricity bills.
“The winter coming is going to be bleak. I believe unless action is taken, we are facing a potential national financial cataclysm.” He warned that when the new Prime Minister takes office in September, energy bills will have increased by 65 per cent with the £400 help announced by the former Finance Minister used up by the rising costs.
These rises would be “unaffordable” to many on the lowest incomes, he said. “People will be panicking, there’s a risk to mental as well as physical health,” he warned, adding that civil unrest mainly in the form of mass non-payment would be plausible.
“And while tax cuts will help, for those at the bottom end of universal credit and many state pensioners, the rises – when added to the increasing costs of food and transport and other inflation – means they’ll be back to that choice between starving and freezing,” he said, with with a typical energy bill totalling more than a third of a state pensioner’s income.
He directly urged the Tory candidates for PM to focus on the cost of living and put it at the forefront of the debate. “More intervention and action is needed and it needs to be quick. This is a hard deadline coming. Without more action, I worry lives could be lost.”