Martin Lewis Blasts 'Zombie Government' As Energy Bills Set To Hit £4,200 In January

·4 min read
Martin Lewis described the new price cap estimates as
Martin Lewis described the new price cap estimates as

Martin Lewis described the new price cap estimates as "tragic" (Photo: Getty Images)

Consumer champion Martin Lewis has accused Boris Johnson of leading a “zombie government” as millions of householders brace themselves for a huge increase in their energy bills.

Energy consultancy Cornwall Insight said bills are set to soar to around £3,582 in October — up from £1,971 today —before hitting £4,266in January.

The money saving expert said “action and planning is needed now” from the government and called on Tory leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to “come together” to tackle the problem.

In a withering Twitter thread, Lewis said the new estimates were “unaffordable for millions” and that government intervention was needed before September 5 — the date the new Tory leader will be announced.

The consumer rights expert said the Ofgem price cap increases would “swallow up” the support that has already been announced by the government, including £400 off energy bills from October and £1,200 off for the most vulnerable.

“The leadership debate must not ignore this portentous national cataclysm any more,” Lewis said.

“They can’t say they weren’t warned. The excuse “we need to wait for Ofgem figure” doesn’t wash. In May the government asked Ofgem for forward guidance and made plans based on that. It can do the same now.

“An action plan is needed today. They are all in the same party, let’s call on them to come together for the good of the nation rather than personal point scoring.

“People’s livelihoods, mental wellbeing and in some cases very lives depend on this. This is desperate.”

However, Sunak supporter Mark Harper this morning ruled out the possibility of emergency talks between the former chancellor, Truss and Boris Johnson.

He said there was “a fundamental difference of opinion between the two leadership candidates”, which meant any talks would be a waste of time.

Sunak has said he "will act" to help people pay their bills if he becomes prime minister, while Truss has said she will prioritise tax cuts over "handouts" to those struggling to make ends meet.

Speaking today, she said: "What I’m doing is making sure people are paying less taxes and also having a temporary moratorium on the green energy levy to save people money on their fuel bills.

“I’m not going to write the Budget in advance. We’ll see what the situation is like in the autumn. But I’m committed to making sure people are supported and I’m committed to growing the economy.”

Martin Lewis’s calls for action were echoed by disability charity Scope, which also said: “We can’t wait for the winter for government support to kick in. It needs to happen now.”

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats also accused the prime minister of reacting to the crisis with a “deafening silence” and said a “bold plan” was needed to solve the crisis.

The party has drafted legislation to cancel the upcoming price cap rise, which is due to be confirmed by Ofgem on August 26.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “People are worried sick about the next staggering rise in energy bills which is just round the corner.

“Yet we are faced with a deafening silence from the prime minister and chancellor, while both Conservative leadership candidates have failed to come up with a bold plan to solve this crisis.

“The Liberal Democrats have prepared legislation that is ready and waiting to implement our plans to scrap the energy price rise. Parliament must be recalled now so we can pass this law as soon as possible.

“Every day that goes past without any answers from this Conservative government creates more angst amongst those worried about how they will pay the bills this winter. We need to reassure families and pensioners now by introducing measures to protect them from this social and economic catastrophe.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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