Cost of living: People fear ‘awful winter’ as bills continue to rise | UK News

If people are struggling to pay their bills now – during a hot summer – how much worse will it be in the winter when homes need to be heated?

From the stories Sky News viewers have been telling, it is clear that as soon as temperatures begin to drop, the crisis will worsen significantly.

After bills, one viewer said he and his partner are left with “£3 for three weeks to live on”.

Another said he and his family are reducing the amount of food they buy, not travelling to see family members, and limiting the children to one hour on the TV or computer.

Keith Ashworth, 66, from Nottingham, is fuelling his years old Land Rover with vegetable oil because diesel is so expensive.

“I was hoping to go part-time fairly soon – but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m working really just to make ends meet,” he said.

At the end of the month, there is “very little left – sometimes nothing left”.

He and his husband Daryl are collecting “scraps of wood” to use in their wood burner in the winter and considering selling the static caravan they own in the Peak District where they go for a break.

“There’s no light at the end of the tunnel – it’s just going up and up and up,” Keith added.

Daryl and Keith Ashworth say they are 'counting the pennies'
Daryl and Keith Ashworth are ‘counting the pennies’

Tracey Blanc, from Clitheroe, emailed about how her energy costs had risen ten-fold in a month. She sent a copy of her bill showing £58 was taken by direct debit on 1 July, while on 1 August it was £611.

Viewer Melanie texted about her hours at work, which had been reduced, and said as she was also unable to find a new lodger, she had ended up draining her savings.

She is now working three jobs, including nights and weekends.

“It’s going to be an awful winter,” Susan Pilkington said.

‘I’ve never been more afraid in my life’

A carer who has been unable to work for eight years, Susan, said she has “never been more afraid in (her) life”.

Her energy bills have “doubled” and she has asked her supplier to remove her gas meter because she “can’t afford the standing charge never mind the gas itself”.

Read more:
Sixteen million people cut back on food and essentials
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Viewer Simon texted to say he wants to take his children on holiday, but only has 52p left in his account.

Kev, 50, texted to say he lives alone in a one-bedroom flat and claims Universal Credit.

“I’ve had to stop paying my water bill and TV licence just to survive,” he said.

“All my money is for rent and electricity bill.”

Glenn took aim at fuel and utility companies making large profits, saying the cost of living crisis is being driven by “greed and bonuses”.


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Julie Martinez emailed to say she works as a health care assistant on a psychiatric ward doing 13-hour shifts and is getting into debt on her credit card for using the money to pay for her petrol to get to work.

“I have no money left over at the end of the month, and I am struggling to feed myself,” she said.

“I feed my dog before I feed me.

“I feel at breaking point. Something has to give or people are going to end up homeless.”