The UK government has called the ‘Don’t Pay’ campaign ‘very irresponsible’
As UK energy prices are set to hit record highs, an anonymous group called ‘Don’t Pay UK’ has launched a campaign calling on 1 million Britons to stop paying their utility bills. energy on October 1, when prices are expected to jump once. Again.
Campaign members say at least 75,000 people have so far pledged to cancel their gas and electricity direct debits in protest at escalating costs. The UK government is now slamming the campaign as “very irresponsible” as reported by The Independent on Thursday.
“This is a highly irresponsible message, which will ultimately only drive up prices for everyone else and affect personal credit scores,” a government spokesperson was quoted by the media.
“While no government can control global gas prices, we are providing £37billion in support to households, including the £400 cut on energy bills, and £1,200 in support directly to the most vulnerable households to help meet the cost of living.
The government’s energy price cap, which is set by regulator Ofgem, is set to top £3,000 ($3,618) on October 1, an increase of almost 65%. Energy costs have already increased by 54% earlier this year.
Don’t Pay UK estimates that around 6.3 million UK households will be pushed into fuel poverty by winter, with tens of millions of households in the grip of “fuel stress”, which means that they will spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills alone.
The government explained that rising energy costs were caused by rising global demand, the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
However, record profits posted by energy companies like British Gas owner Centrica have sparked public outcry and accusations that suppliers are profiting from the crisis.
“Our politicians and oil and gas companies have designed an energy system that just funnels money and profits upwards, regardless of the human cost,” said a spokesperson for Don’t Pay, adding that the record profits of energy companies are unacceptable.
“If the government and the energy companies refuse to act, ordinary workers will. Together, we will collectively apply a fair price and the government and the oil and gas giants will have to settle the problem between themselves.