Hundreds of people across the city have pledged to stop paying their energy bills if prices rise later this year.
More than 350 people across Brighton and Hove have joined the Don’t Pay campaign calling for their direct debits to be canceled with their energy suppliers to demand bills be reduced to affordable levels.
The campaign was supported by more than 107,000 people across the country, with at least 1,000 in Sussex alone.
A spokeswoman for the campaign, which launched in June, said the idea came about after a group of friends decided something needed to be done about the cost of living crisis.
She said: “Recent years have deepened this view of a system designed essentially to deprive people of as much wealth as possible and add wealth to the already wealthy minority.
“Energy bills and their costs are some of the most important pressures we are all feeling right now.”
The group is hoping for a repeat of the 1990 crackdown on the poll tax, which culminated in a series of urban riots that resulted in the abolition of the controversial tax.
The spokeswoman said: “By October, energy bills will have tripled in just 18 months.
“Millions will become unable to pay and millions more will be thrown into poverty – all while energy companies like BP and Shell are making billions in profits.
“We believe the sheer scale of this crisis means that unless government, Ofgem and energy companies make energy affordable for all, millions of people are willing to come together and stop paying our bills.
“The response we have already received in just a few weeks shows how the pressure is building and a mass non-payment campaign is becoming a very viable option for many people who see these price increases as unjust and unfair.”
Energy regulator Ofgem has urged customers not to join the group in its planned October 1 action, warning the strike could only result in higher costs for everyone and lead to personal debt problems.
The spokeswoman for Don’t Pay said that while the action carries some risk, “the biggest risk is that if the skyrocketing energy bill scandal is not addressed, millions of people across the country will be left in dire straits.” . .
She said: “It’s fine if people want to enter into a dialogue with their energy companies, but the reality is that we as individuals have pretty much no power in these discussions.
“People are coming together across the country with this campaign to build strength in numbers to bring about change so that our energy system is based on people’s needs and not obscene corporate profits.”
A government spokeswoman slammed the campaign for its “highly irresponsible message, which ultimately just drives up prices for everyone else and hurts personal creditworthiness.”
She said: “While no government can control global gas prices, we are providing £37billion in aid to households, including the £400 rebate on energy bills, and £1,200 direct support to the most vulnerable households to help them cover the cost of living cover .”
Brighton and Hove City Council has been asked for an opinion.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20659080.hundreds-brighton-residents-join-dont-pay-campaign/?ref=rss Hundreds of Brighton residents join the Don’t Pay campaign