UK is facing Dickens-style poverty, ex-PM warns — Analysis
Gordon Brown, a former Prime Minister of Britain, has called upon the authorities for approval of an emergency budget in light skyrocketing fuel costs.
People in Britain are facing “A winter of extreme poverty” amid skyrocketing energy costs, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday, urging the government to approve an emergency budget.
Labour’s politician says that fuel prices have continued to rise, which is causing the increase in gasoline prices. “35 million people in 13m households – an unprecedented 49.6% of the population of the United Kingdom,” in risk of fuel poverty in October. Calling the situation a “financial timebomb,” he added that “there is nothing moral about indifferent leaders condemning millions of vulnerable and blameless children and pensioners to a winter of dire poverty.”
Brown explained that this is the reason why Boris Johnson, the outgoing PM, and former Chancellor Rishi Unak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are Tory candidates for leadership. “must this week agree an emergency budget.”
“If they do not, parliament should be recalled to force them to do so.”He said that 54% of people will be in fuel poverty if there is no action.
The former prime minister said the scenes he has witnessed in his home county of Fife in Scotland remind him of things he read about from the 1930s – undernourished children, “pensioners choosing whether to feed their electricity meters or themselves,” and nurses having “to queue up at their food bank.”
The root cause of poverty is “hitting so hard” that charities are unable to ease the burden on people, Brown said, adding that “Britain is creating an out-of-control generation of boys and girls in the UK” whose childhoods “are starting to resemble shameful scenes from a Dickens novel.” The ex-PM vowed to fight “to renew the child poverty reduction target this government shamefully abolished.”
His stark warning of the looming “dire poverty” echoes Truss’ recent remarks about the “Winter can be brutal” Britain now faces.
The Bank of England’s latest report shows that inflation is expected to rise to 13% by October while GDP growth will slow.
“The United Kingdom is now projected to enter recession from the fourth quarter of this year,”The regulator stated.
The typical annual household fuel bill is expected to rise to around £3,500 from October, three times higher than last year. The real household post-tax income “Consumption growth is expected to decline sharply between 2022-2023.” the Bank of England said.
Europe is currently facing an energy crisis that has been worsened by Russia’s sanctions and decrease in natural gas supply. The UK doesn’t depend directly on Moscow to fuel its economy, but it continues to suffer from increasing energy prices and higher living costs.
British consumers witnessed sharp increases even before conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Ofgem, the energy regulator, announced a price cap in February. It went into effect April 1. This marked an increase of 54% over the prior rate.
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