London’s mayor sounds alarm over winter crisis

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The UK government needs to step in and make sure people are able to meet their basic needs, Sadiq Khan says

Millions of people in the UK could find themselves unable to put food on the table and heat their homes this coming winter if the government doesn’t intervene, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Saturday.

“We’ve seen nothing like this before,” Khan wrote on Twitter, referring to soaring energy prices and record inflation of more than 10%.

“We’re facing a winter where for millions it won’t be about choosing between heating or eating but tragically being able to afford neither,” he warned.

“This can’t happen,” the mayor insisted, adding that the British government “needs to step in so that people can meet their basic needs.”

He accompanied the post with a data from the Auxilione energy consultancy, predicting that energy bills in the UK could increase by 80% in October, exceeding £3,600 ($4,292) per year on average. For comparison, the cap set by energy industry regulator, Ofgem, in October 2021 stood at £1,400 per year.

Khan also spoke on the same issue on Friday while visiting a warehouse that distributes supplies to food banks in one of London’s boroughs.

He gave assurances that his administration is “committed” to providing support for struggling Londoners, but called on the government to work harder, as there is “no sign of this rise in costs slowing down”.

“Ministers must act now to help prevent this cost of living crisis becoming a national disaster,” the mayor said.

Economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe have been further exacerbated by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent decrease in Russian natural gas supplies to the EU.

READ MORE: Blame Putin for economic failings – UK chancellor

While the UK is not directly dependent on Russia for fuel, it’s been hard-hit by soaring prices on the global market.

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