Cost of living crisis: ‘Worst' time in 40 year career, says charity worker

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Extortionate energy bills will result in an increase in excess winter deaths this year, a charity worker has warned.

A charity worker has described the current cost of living crisis as the “worst” she has seen in her 40 year career.

Jacky Peacock, head of policy at Advice for Renters in Brent, has also warned that extortionate energy bills will result in an increase in excess winter deaths this year.

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Jacky Peacock, head of policy at Advice for RentersJacky Peacock, head of policy at Advice for Renters
Jacky Peacock, head of policy at Advice for Renters

Prime minister Liz Truss has pledged to "deliver on the energy crisis,” with an announcement expected on Thursday.

However Ms Peacock, who was awarded an OBE for her work with private tenants, has said this doesn’t bring any reassurance.

“Indications are that even if she (Ms Truss) does impose a freeze on fuel prices, how is that going to be paid for,” she said.

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“I think it will either be dramatic cuts in other services like the health service.

“Or it will be the rest of us paying for it through taxes.

“We don’t feel reassured by anything that she’s said today as she said she can’t explain how the system is going to work.”

It is expected that bills will be frozen by energy companies using government-backed loans.

Prime Minister Liz TrussPrime Minister Liz Truss
Prime Minister Liz Truss

The government estimates that the total package will amount to somewhere between £100bn and £130bn, although this will depend on the energy market.

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Currently, all UK households will be given a one-off £400 discount on their fuel bills from October, with extra money for those with low incomes.

Businesses are also expected to be offered some relief in the plans that are set to be announced on Thursday.

Ms Peacock says that fuel poverty has been a huge problem in London since before this crisis.

“Thousands of people die every year of excess winter deaths, from living in cold homes and this can only increase dramatically in this coming winter,” she said.

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Commenting on the government’s levelling up plans, she said that London should not be left out.

“When people talk about levelling up, they talk about taking resources away from London and putting them into parts in the north of England,” she added.

“Which is needed as they do need things like better transport systems.

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“London is the home of most of the richest people in the UK. But that doesn’t mean that London is a rich part of the country.

“There are more homeless people and people in temporary accommodation than the rest of the country put together.

“The whole country needs to levelled up.”

LondonWorld and NationalWorld will be highlighting the cost of living crisis and its impact on our city in a series of articles over the coming weeks.

We will be calling on our leaders - in politics, business, and our communities - to step up for our city.

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And we want to hear from you, our readers, about your own experiences. How are rising energy bills, fuel costs and food prices affecting your daily life?

What worries you about the prospect of the winter ahead? And - crucially - where can the government help?

How is the cost of living crisis in London affecting you? Contact London World and speak to one of our reporters in confidence on [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook.

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