'Can’t believe it' Pensioner, 77, 'worried sick' as energy and food bills 'through roof'

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Martin Lewis outlines rise in average UK household energy bills

Retired receptionist Yvonne Deburgo, 77, was speaking during a week when inflation hit 10.1 percent, with experts warning the annual fuel bill for an average household could hit £4,200 a month by the start of next year. Widow Mrs Deburgo, who is from Oxfordshire, and who voiced her concerns about the rising cost of energy when she spoke to The Daily Express in April, is currently facing an estimated monthly bill of £200, which is likely to rise still further when the price cap is lifted in October.

She said: “With electricity, I just don’t know how I’m going to manage come the winter.

“Because the electricity alone is twice as much as what it used to be for both gas and electric in a week.”

Mrs Deburgo said previously she was spending £10 per week on gas and the same for electricity – but now she spends £45 on the latter, before gas has even been factored in.

She added: “The only thing I use gas for the moment is to heat water. I switched it off as soon as the water is hot enough and it still costs me a fiver a week.

Yvonne Deburgo Liz Truss

Yvonne Deburgo has asked Liz Truss to explain how she is supposed to manage this winter (Image: GETTY)

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak is trailing Ms Truss in the Tory leadership contest polls (Image: GETTY)

“I’m worried sick about the winter, I really am because not only that, if I get cold it makes my pain worse.

“I have arthritis and fibromyalgia, so everything seizes up and it makes me even more immobile.”

Yvonne says her combined gas and electric per month used to be £170.

She said: “Looking at it, the way it’s going up, at the moment, I would say it is at least up to £200 pounds, and that’s just with electric and heating in my water with the gas.

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is still PM in a caretaker capacity (Image: GETTY)

“With food, I can’t believe it – I try and shop around but, you know, I was spending perhaps £40. Now we’re talking £70 a week, £280 a month.

“It’s going through the roof – where am I supposed to get the money from?”

Referring to the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme, whereby Millions of households receive non-repayable £400 discounts on their energy bills over a six-month period starting in October, Ms Deburgo said: “I’m sorry, it’s not enough to cover everything.

“I’ve got all my other bills to pay. What about clothing and simple things like that?

“I mean, it’s just got beyond a joke and the government has no perception of what it’s like to live on what they are giving pensioners, they really don’t.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Image: GETTY)

Energy costs

The soaring cost of energy will pose a huge challenge this winter (Image: GETTY)

During the course of the Tory leadership contest references were made to millionaire Rishi Sunak’s £450 Prada shoes and Mrs Deburgo said: “I mean, they probably spend what my income is on a meal for themselves.

“For me, when they got rid of Boris, it should have been a general election.

“They should stop trying to find somebody else because they are both as bad as each other and neither are going to help us so it’s time for a general election and for the public to vote.

“There’s something grim coming down the track because whether it’s for heating or not we’ve all got to use electricity.

“I am doing everything I can like, I’m being really good, when I’ve made myself a cup of coffee I switch it off at the wall, I switch my cooker off at the wall and in fact, I don’t use my cooker, I was fortunate enough to be bought one of these ninja cookers.

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“And I use that to do everything in, because it’s cheaper, and it’s still not helping.

“Nothing that I do is helping to even steady the cost of the bill, it’s just going up and up.”

She said: “When it first started, all this hoo-hah about it, I was actually in credit with my energy company and they’re sending me an account every month, and I’ve just paid £37 because that’s what I was in debt for.”

Mrs Deburgo also questioned why the £400 discount was being applied across the board.

She said: “I’m sorry, but it should be for the working classes, not the bloody rich, they can afford to pay their bills, we can’t. I feel sick about it all really.

Percentage electricity

Percentage of weekly budgets spent on electricity by region (Image: Express)

“As for tax cuts – the poor man that’s on nine pounds an hour or whatever it is, minimum wage, it’s not going to do him any good is it?

“But Mr Bloggs at the top that’s on £6million a year with his company, he is going to be rolling in it isn’t he and that’s the problem with this country.”

She added: “If I could ask one question of Mr Sunak, Liz Truss, and Boris Johnson, it would be: ‘How do you expect me to pay for all this?’

“My income stays the same. I’ve got no other means of getting income and at 77 I’m not fitting enough to go to work anyway.”

An analysis published by Cornwall Insight earlier this month suggested annual energy bills for a typical household will rise to £4,266 in January 2023.

Highest energy bills in the UK

Highest energy bills in the UK as of March (Image: Express)

On Friday Labour wrote to Boris Johnson, Mr Sunak and frontrunner Liz Truss demanding that Parliament returns early in order to tackle soaring energy bills.

The party said it was a chance for the two contenders to replace Mr Johnson to show they were “serious” about the energy crisis.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has unveiled a “fully costed” £29billion plan to freeze the cap at the current level of £1,971 for six months from October, saving the average household £1,000.

The call for MPs to return two weeks early on August 22 comes ahead of the announcement of the new energy price cap at the end of the month, which Labour has called a “crucial deadline” for Government action.

Mr Sunak, Ms Truss and Mr Johnson have all been contacted via their Parliamentary offices for comment, but none has so far responded.

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