By now we’re all feeling the strain of the worsening cost-of-living crisis in the UK. Energy bills have skyrocketed, food prices have gone up. More and more people are being pushed into fuel poverty. That’s why we’re part of the ‘Warm This Winter’ campaign to call on the Government to provide urgent support and to avoid a crisis like this happening again.
Here are 3 quick facts about the cost-of-living crisis – why it happened and how we can fix it:
1. The cost of living crisis is driven by our over-reliance on oil and gas
Our dependence on gas for our energy supply has led to UK households being hardest hit by rising energy costs in Western Europe. 1 This means that when gas prices skyrocketed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and oil-producing countries reduced the supply of oil, UK energy prices did too. Rising energy prices in turn drove up the rate of inflation. And this is further worsening the cost-of-living crisis. Fossil fuel prices have a tendency to fluctuate wildly. That means that as long as we are dependent on them for our energy, our energy costs will be unpredictable and volatile.
2. Not everyone is worse off: Fossil fuel corporations are making record profits as the rest of us suffer
Not everyone is worse off as a result of this crisis. In fact, BP, Shell and other fossil fuel corporations are all making record profits. BP made £7.1 BILLION just between June and September 2022 2. Skyrocketing energy prices are forcing more and more people to have to choose between heating and eating – but for oil giants like BP it means record profits and huge pay-outs for shareholders. All while paying only a small percentage – or in Shell’s case: nothing at all!2 – in windfall tax.
3. Cheap, renewable energy and energy-efficient homes could fix the cost of living crisis
The good news is: there is a solution to this. To make sure we’re less vulnerable to future crises like this one we need to ensure the Government invests in cheap, renewable energy and a properly-funded programme of home upgrades and insulation across the UK to bring down bills and prevent energy waste. This would also help tackle the ever worsening climate crisis threatening the future of our planet. It truly is a win-win situation. There’s already a movement across the UK pushing for an ambitious long-term Government programme to tackle climate breakdown while creating secure, green jobs, promoting global justice and reforming the economy so that it works for everyone. It’s called a Green New Deal.
If you want to know more about the Green New Deal, check out our page dedicated to the Green New Deal here.