What the papers say – March 1

Britain’s papers react to changes to the cost of living which come into effect today, with one masthead dubbing it ‘April Cruel Day’.

PA Reporter
Friday 01 April 2022 02:54
What the papers say – March 1 (PA)
What the papers say – March 1 (PA)

The nation’s front pages concern soaring prices as the biggest jump in domestic energy bills in living memory comes into effect.

“Happy cruel day” the Daily Mirror declares as families are hit by a 54% surge in energy bills from Friday, with rises in National Insurance payments, council tax and inflation. “Many could suffer spiralling debt and physical and mental health issues” as a result, the paper writes.

Metro and The Guardian also carry the story, both leading with the news that the websites of numerous major energy suppliers crashed as customers tried to register meter readings ahead of the April price hike.

“Five million households face budget squeeze,” The Independent adds, reporting that people will need to spend at least 10% of their budget on energy bills after Friday’s price-cap hike.

“Pain in the gas,” The Sun writes in reference to soaring energy bills, adding that “blackmailing” Russian president Vladimir Putin has threatened to send them even higher by turning off supplies.

The i focuses on fresh pressure facing the Chancellor to offer more help as the public faces a “triple whammy from higher energy bills, increased council tax and the national insurance hike”. The paper adds that unnamed senior Tories have accused Rishi Sunak of being “politically naive”.

Adding to the strain facing Britons, the Daily Express says house prices have surged £33,000 in a year – their highest increase in 17 years.

Elsewhere, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail lead with claims the disgraced Duke of York is embroiled in a High Court battle after allegedly receiving more than £1 million from a “fraudster”.

Meanwhile, The Times carries concerns from an unnamed “senior government source” that western allies are too eager for Ukraine to settle for an easy peace deal with Russia, which the British government is reportedly pushing against.

The Financial Times reports the US has ordered the “biggest ever oil release” from strategic reserves in an effort to quell fuel costs, injecting one million barrels a day into the market over the next six months.

And the Daily Star warns of an “Eggpocalypse” caused by a “huge rise in production costs” for farmers.

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