You’ll have seen the news stories this week about the rising cost of gas. Worried? We are too. What does this mean for families already strapped for cash? Well, unfortunately we all know the answer to that question.
As of this month, September 2021, four of the smaller energy providers have gone bust (bbc.co.uk). This does not mean that your supply will be turned off, as Ofgem will switch you to a new energy provider; however, there’s no guarantee that you’ll stay on the same tariff. In fact, you may be switched to a higher one. This is a problem for families already struggling to make ends meet.
The energy crisis is also causing a problem with food supplies, as CO2 is used in the manufacturing process (bbc.co.uk). You may have already noticed that your local supermarket shelves are not as well stocked as they used to be. There’s a problem with meat supplies and there’s also been a problem with recruitment of lorry drivers, which has gone under the radar slightly because of the pandemic. The after-effects of Brexit, and now the energy crisis, are becoming increasingly apparent. If the average family can’t get the groceries they usually buy, that means less stock for food banks too. This isn’t good news for people on low incomes, who will become even more limited in their choices.
In the UK, just living day to day is becoming increasingly difficult. We seem to be heading towards a cost of living crisis with national insurance going up, universal credit being cut and now the spiralling cost of energy too. There’s a real risk that more people will end up living in poverty or will be unable to keep a roof over their heads. Lots of people already rely on food banks to help them get by and now with winter coming up, the cost of heating has suddenly become quite a worrying prospect. You can see how easy it is to slip between the cracks, to just gradually become unable to afford the basic necessities and end up at risk of losing your home. Yes, local authorities have a duty to house everyone, but is there enough housing stock? Well, that’s a discussion for another day, but we’re all very aware of this problem too.
It can seem as though every time you turn on the news, or listen to the radio, there’s a new problem to be faced. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. As long as charities like ours exist, we’ll do our utmost to help and assist anyone living in poverty or on the streets. A clothing voucher may not seem like much, but it does provide some small dignity in a world that seems increasingly harsh.
To help those in need, you can make donations to the Clothing Collective here
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