Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Why has it fallen to Martin Lewis to save the British public from rising energy bills?

“They are not willing to work together, in what we have is a national crisis coming on the scale of the pandemic…”

Sunny Hundal
Friday 26 August 2022 10:56 BST
Comments
Martin Lewis issues stark warning to government amid energy bills rise

Martin Lewis has clearly had it with the bullsh*t.

This morning, after the big jump in energy bills was announced, he tweeted: “I’ve been accused of catastrophising about the energy hikes that have now come true.”

“Yet let me be plain, ‘doom-mongering’ or not,” he added.

“More help is desperately needed for poorest or people will die this winter due to unaffordability of an 80% SO FAR energy price cap hike.”

The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com has long been warning the British public and politicians alike of the impending financial apocalypse, like a desperate, lone voice of reason. And yet, rather than heeding the call, our inept government are like deer in the headlights; paralysed and unable to take any discernible action.

Earlier this month, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lewis was told that “the government seems to be adamant that nothing can happen until a new prime minister comes into power” – at which point, viewers could see the rage swelling inside of him.

“What a load of bull,” he hit back. “That is completely bull. I’m not going to use the final word on the back of it, but that is simply not true.”

He went on to say: “The idea they can’t do anything is wrong, they are not willing to do anything, they are not willing to work together, in what we have is a national crisis coming on the scale of the pandemic…”.

Experts warned that energy prices for UK households will surge to a devastating £4,266 a year in January. But this shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us – least of all those who have been paying attention to Lewis. In a sea of noise and political posturing, he has become a clear and fearless spokesperson for the nation, standing up for those hardest hit when the entire political system is in tatters.

In May, Lewis pointed out that something “smells wrong” after energy companies started raising direct debits to amounts much higher than the price cap.

Soon after he was informed that Ofgem was raising its price cap. Naturally, Lewis was livid with the revelation, calling the regulator a "f***ing disgrace" for protecting energy suppliers’ profits while raising prices for consumers.

Then, in June, he warned that there was a risk of protests, strikes and even riots if energy bills continued to rise and the government did not provide more financial help.

By early July his frustration with the government’s inaction and infighting was palpable: “We’ve a cost of living crisis of a scale not seen for nearly 50yrs,” he wrote on Twitter. “Energy bills will rise to £3,000 in Oct. Food, mortgages, rents, transport & petrol prices are exploding. The Bank of England today warned economic outlook’s deteriorated materially. And we’ve no Chancellor.”

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment, sign up to our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter by clicking here

While he was receiving his CBE from Prince Charles, he gave the royal an earful. “I am without embarrassment, deliberately, provocatively, raising an alarm right now. And I will do that with everyone. And when you get the ear of the Prince of Wales for a moment like that, it seemed the right time to take advantage.”

He added: “It is a cataclysmic problem that is going to face the country this winter.”

In a message to Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson in July, he wrote: “Please, go and sit in a room together, make a collective decision now of what help you can give and make an announcement to forestall the mental health damage that is coming across the country.”

Now all of this – the frantic cries from Lewis, the utterly bleak outlook and colossal energy price predictions – begs the question: when will the government step up to the plate?

It isn’t enough to just sit back idly and blame the current Tory leadership race. The British public deserve – and, more critically, need – more than that.

Martin Lewis has been warning us for months about this coming crisis, so why hasn’t the government not been listening?

Join our commenting forum

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

Comments

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