Brits woke up today to the biggest rise in household electricity bills in living memory, with newspapers declaring the day “Bleak Friday” and “April Cruel Day”.
In a series of blows to household finances, the energy price cap rises 54% to £1,971, National Insurance Contributions increase by 1.25 percentage points and council tax bills increase by an average of 3.5%.
The guard described it as a “bleak Friday” and quoted the Resolution Foundation think-tank as saying the number of English households in “fuel stress” will double overnight from 2.5 million to 5 million.
A 54-year-old reader from Liverpool told this paper: “I live in a poor area and people just look like they lost the battle. It was bad enough before, but people just look a lot worse now.
“I grew up under Thatcher – we thought it was bad then, but it’s so much worse now. We didn’t have panels in the 1980s – now they’re essential.”
the daily mirror ran with the headline “April Cruel Day” on the front page, adding that the budgets are before the “worst attack on living standards” in a generation. Over 400,000 children lifted out of poverty thanks to the £20 increase in Universal Credit could be plunged straight back into it “unless the Chancellor acts now,” the newspaper said.
pressure is Ascend Rishi Sunak to do more to cushion families from the blow. A cabinet minister said The times that the chancellor’s previous economic support is “not sufficient”, adding: “For many families it does not even go to the sides. It feels unsustainable.”
Sky news Business editor Ed Conway described the “bill shock” as “unprecedented,” adding that “although the Chancellor’s recent actions will soften the blow somewhat, they are coming.” far from taking away the pain for millions“.
The Telegraph focused on the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on middle-class families, reporting they will lose £4,600 over the next year “as rising costs and tax hikes hurt household finances”.
The impact on hospitality was the focus GB news, who reported that “the cost of buying a pub meal, soft drink or hotel stay could get more expensive starting this month as VAT rates are raised back to 20% across the hospitality industry”.
The crisis “started to bite” even before the effects of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine were felt, he said financial times. Official data showed a fall in “household real income, shrinking savings and slower spending growth” in late 2021.
And it could get worse, they say The sun. The newspaper said gas prices could rise further after “blackmailing” Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to “cut off gas supplies”. Response to Western support for Ukraine.
The Spectator’s political editor, James Forsyth, also warned of problems on the horizon if Britain fails to become less dependent on Russian energy supplies.
More onshore wind farms are needed to quickly “lower bills,” he said in The times. But “spineless MPs” will not broach the issue for fear of “nimble objections”. A “failure to build the energy infrastructure to ensure reliable and secure supplies” would “doom us to be a heritage rather than a 21st-century economy,” he warned.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/956298/how-media-reported-biggest-uk-bill-rise ‘Bleak Friday’: How the media reported an ‘unprecedented’ surge in UK bills