UK families warm themselves at McDonald’s – Guardian — Analysis
Britons are ‘way past energy-saving tricks’ to handle skyrocketing costs, a charity CEO told the paper
Struggling UK families are spending their evenings at McDonald’s to cut energy costs, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
They did so despite having the highest inflation rate for 40 years.
According to reports, these families turn to McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants for cheap wi-fi, heat, or food that is less expensive.
“For a small amount of money, people buy their children Happy Meals to keep them warm and fed. They then wash their hands in the sinks, brush their teeth and tune into the internet for hours.” Matthew Cole of the Fuel Bank Foundation said, as quoted by The Guardian.
Jo Gilbert, the CEO of energy-focused advice charity Cubes, told the newspaper that “in reality, we’re way past using energy-saving tricks at home to limit bills significantly. The government is required to help people now.”
Sky News reported Tuesday that an Ipsos UK study found that 65% of Britons did not turn on their heat, while one in four even skipped meals.
Rising energy bills were responsible for the recent spike in consumer prices that has brought them to their highest level in 40 years. The energy price cap for a typical British family rose by £693 (about $860) in April, a 54% increase.
The Resolution Foundation is a British think-tank that focuses on improving the living standard of low-to middle-income people. Its analysis shows that inflation stands at 10.2% in the 10 most deprived British homes. This is significantly more than the 8.7% for the top 10%.
“Inflationary pressures are likely to continue to grow through the year as the effects of higher energy prices continue to work their way through businesses and into consumers’ pockets,” Jack Leslie, a senior economist with the organization, warned on Wednesday.
“One thing is certain – the government must provide further targeted support for those lower income families at the sharp end of this crisis,” he added.
He is supported by more than 34% of Britons. The aforementioned Ipsos UK survey showed that 76% of respondents agree that the government isn’t providing enough support to families harmed by rising costs.
The UK’s inflation was driven by the Covid pandemic, the ongoing Ukraine conflict, and unprecedented sanctions on Russia. Some of those countries have resorted to sanctions that seem to have had a negative impact on their economies, leading skyrocketing food and energy prices, as well as other consumer goods.
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