Britain faces its worst humanitarian crisis this winter when the difficult choices are forced upon low-income households by soaring energy bills that could cause serious physical and mental illness. From skyrocketing petrol and gas bills to ever-increasing rail fares and restaurant receipts, the UK is witnessing a noteworthy increase in living costs. Inflation reached its highest level and at the same time the government is putting up taxes, furlough has ended, and the uplift to universal credit is gone. The situation stands at a time when many people could face a hideous choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp, and very unpleasant situations. A cost-of-living crisis is being exacerbated by the covid pandemic and conflict in Ukraine. The UK has imposed sanctions on Russian gas and oil exports to varying degrees with British household energy bills now expected to soar a further $ 1,000 as a consequence. Moreover, the United Kingdom hasn’t sufficiently prepared its citizens for the ongoing global crisis. Subsequently, the UK has to bear the brunt of a relentless rise in oil and food prices.
A survey published on August 10, 2022 states, that two in three people in the UK had kept their heating off when they would normally have turned it on, almost half were driving less or changing supermarkets and just more than a quarter say they have skipped meals. Moreover, drought conditions are affecting about 60% of the U.K which leaves a fatal blow to the economic crisis. Riverbeds are drying up and there are water problems all over the UK that are adversely affecting energy production, agriculture, and river transportation. The U.K government announced to cut down on energy consumption by taking shorter showers and turning off lights, to its citizens.
– Saume Saptaparna Nath is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA). Previously, she worked as an Intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh.