Ofgem price increase: Charity dreads decisions facing families

Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, Mark Russell, said:

“An increase of this scale to energy bills would have awful consequences for families who are already barely managing to pay the bills, feed and clothe their children. An extra £800 over the year coming just as we head into winter is unthinkable. I dread to think of the impossible decisions that parents will have to make over the absolute necessities for their children.

“Not only do we worry about children not having a warm home, enough food and clean clothes, we are deeply concerned of the long term consequences of poverty and debt, and the scars they could leave for many children whose families are pushed into financial crisis as a result of these price rises.

“The government must step up quickly to meet the huge scale of the challenge ahead. One of the tools at the government’s disposal would be to make school meals free for all children whose families receive universal credit, saving hard pressed families around £400 per child per year, which can be used towards other essentials like fuel. And it’s clear that the government is going to need to take a multi-pronged approach to cushion families from the blow of these costs.”