Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Martin Lewis warns of ‘catastrophe’ over soaring energy bills ‘on scale of pandemic’

‘It is awful, what is coming’

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Wednesday 10 August 2022 10:03 BST
Martin Lewis warns of ‘catastrophe’ over soaring energy bills

Martin Lewis has desperately warned of a “national crisis on the scale of the pandemic” as energy bills continue to soar amid a devastating cost of living crisis.

The Money Saving Expert founder delivered an impassioned interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today in which he urged the “zombie government” to take urgent action.

“When you know there’s a crisis of magnificent propotions coming, you start dealing with it now,” he said. “What we are facing right now is a financial emergency that risks lives.”

It comes as Ofgem is set to put the price cap at £4,266 for the average household in the three months from the beginning of January.

Mr Lewis compared the devastating energy crisis to a volcano that is “exploding right now” as he warned, “the catastrophe is bubbling up” and government waiting for 5 September to act “is not good enough”.

Breaking down the figures, the consumer expert explained what the energy price cap means for households.

He said: “Based on current prediction which is likely to be right with a very small margin of error, for every £100 direct debit you currently pay, you will be paying £180 in October and £215 in January.

“That is a cataclysmic rise for households.”

He stressed the devastating impact this will have on “millions of households” who will “simply not be able to afford it”.

“We’re not talking mortgages, we’re not talking rent, we’re talking energy bills. This is absolutely catastrophic.”

Martin Lewis warns of ‘catastrophe’ over soaring energy bills (ITV)

During the interview, Mr Lewis held his head in his hands in frustration as he struggled to understand why the government is not reacting to the situation as an emergency.

“If we had a volcano in the UK that was exploding now, I would be very suprised if government said it can’t call a Cobra meeting on the back of it because we don’t have a working government,” he said as he called on Tory leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to do something.

“They need to get together in the national interest to tell us the bare minimum of what they will do,” the personal finance expert urged.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he tore Ms Truss’ plans, which he said were tantamount to “a sticking plaster on a gaping wound”.

“Let’s be clear, tax cuts will not help the millions of the poorest people who will be choosing between heating and eating,” Mr Lewis said.

“If the only plan is tax cuts and dropping the green levy than we are going to leave millions destitute this winter.”

As a founder of charity Money and Mental Health, Mr Lewis gave a grave warning about the effect the rising bills will have on people’s mental wellbeing.

“I can’t tell you how dangerous what is coming will be for people and their mental health,” he said. “It is awful, what is coming.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in