Cost of living - latest: Britons warned they won't save money this winter; people in credit advised to call energy provider (2023)

Key points
  • New energy price cap set at £2,074 from July
  • What should you do now?
  • Jeremy Hunt doesn't rule out further energy support
  • Bill payers warned they won't save money this winter
  • Interest rate forecasts rise significantly in recent days | Ed Conway explains why and what it means
  • Who's making money from rising food prices?
  • Your dilemmas:I am paying my dad's mortgage, how do I get added on formally?
  • Budgeting Mum: Saving for your children | Do food subscriptions save you money?| Holiday spending money| Best broadband deals
  • Live reporting by Jess Sharp and Katie Williams


How will the new energy price cap affect electric car owners?

As we've been reporting, a reduction to the energy price cap has been announced today and will come into force from 1 July.

It will mean the average household in England, Wales and Scotland, will see bills fall by £426.

So what will it mean for electric car owners, who arguably use a lot more electricity.

Well the £1,206 reduction from £3,280 to £2,074 will be positive news for drivers of electric vehicles, as it means anyone on a standard domestic energy tariff will pay less than £20 to fully charge a typical family sized car from home.

Those on EV-specific electricity tariffs who benefit from cheap off-peak rates will continue to enjoy even better value.

However, for those travelling beyond the range of their vehicle and rely on rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, the cost is much higher, RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said.

A 20% VAT is applied to these charge points - which is 15% more than the VAT applied to domestic electricity.

It's important to remember the energy price cap does not set the maximum a household will pay for their energy but limits the amount providers can charge them per unit of gas or electricity, so those who use more energy will pay more.


Octopus Energy set to bring back Saving Sessions scheme this winter

Smart meter customers with Octopus Energy are set to make savings by cutting back on their electricity use again this winter.

The company is planning to bring back its Saving Sessions scheme which saw households switch lightbulbs for candles during the 2022-23 winter to save money on their energy bills.

The initiative rewarded customers for every unit of energy saved during peak periods.

Octopus said the scheme shifted 1.86GWh (gigawatt hours) of energy demand across 13 sessions - the equivalent of stopping two million washing machine runs.

Nearly 700,000 smart meter customers took part, with £5.3m paid to participants over the duration of the scheme.

Over £170,000 worth of these earnings were donated by customers to Octopus' hardship fund for struggling families, it said.

(Video) How 'warm spaces' keep Britons from freezing in the cost of living crisis | Times Reports

The news comes after regulator Ofgem announced a drop in the energy price cap on household bills from July.

Greg Jackson, Octopus founder, said the move guarantees falling global energy costs will be passed on to consumers.

"However, costs are still twice as high as they were pre-crisis," he added.

"We'll do all we can to help customers through this crisis, and hope that the government will also continue to help those who need it most."


Summer 'travel chaos' warning as Edinburgh Airport workers back strike action in pay row

Passengers could face a summer of "travel chaos" after Edinburgh Airport workers voted to take strike action in a dispute over pay, a union has warned.

Uniteballoted around 275 workers, including members employed in security, terminal operations and search areas.

It said 85% backed industrial action on a 75% turnout, and is now calling on airport bosses to tender an improved offer to "avert travel chaos" during the summer.

Read more from our Scotland reporter Jenness Mitchell here...


Workers at soft drink plant to strike over pay

Hundreds of workers at a soft drinks plant are to strike in a dispute over pay.

Unite members at the Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) site in Wakefield will walk out for a series of strikes from 8 June.

The workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over a pay offer which the union said was worth an average of 6%.

There would be 14 days of strike action, comprising three 48-hour strikes and two 96-hour strikes, spaced over a two-week period.

"Coca Cola Europacific Partners is making profits in the billions but it's delivering a pay cut to the very workers who are making them," Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.


How the new energy price cap will affect our bills

The squeeze on energy prices will ease from July when we're expected to see a difference in what we pay to keep our homes running, business correspondent Paul Kelso says.

Wholesale energy prices began rising at the end of 2021, with the increase exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

High energy costs made fuel poverty a "mainstream experience" and "pushed millions of families into stretched budgets", Kelso says, despite the government mitigating the impact with its energy support scheme during the winter.

But what will happen in July?

The cost to suppliers of buying energy has fallen to its lowest level since 2021, Kelso explains, but this reduction won't be felt by customers until the summer as companies buy up their supplies in advance.

And though prices have stabilised, bills are still more than double where they were two years ago, he adds.

Watch Kelso's full explainer on what today's energy price cap announcement means for our bills here...

(Video) Cost Of Living: How To Avoid Being Scammed & Biggest Interest Rate Hike In Over 25 Years | Lorraine


Heathrow security guards stage fresh strike over pay

Security guards at Heathrow Airport have launched a three-day strike today in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite have already held 15 days of industrial action, including over the busy Easter period.

Heathrow said it had contingency plans in place to keep the airport open and operating as usual, adding that passengers could expect to have a "smooth" half-term getaway.

"Passengers should not be concerned about strike action by Unite over the half-term getaway," Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.

"These strikes are completely unnecessary. When I speak to colleagues the overwhelming message is that they just want to vote on our pay offer, but Unite won't let them."

Unite said Heathrow security officers were paid less than workers at other major airports in London and the South East.


(Video) Martin Lewis shares the best ways to save money

Fuel prices have fallen this month - here's how much it will cost you at the pump

Fuel prices have fallen again after dipping below 145p last week for the first time in 18 months.

The average price of a litre of unleaded is now 143.35p, down from 146.89p last month, according to the RAC Fuel Watch.

This means a typical 55-litre family car will now cost £78.84 to fill up.

Diesel sits at 154.31p per litre, down from 161.06p in April, meaning the same sized car will set you back £84.87 for a full tank.

While the prices have been consistently falling, RAC spokesman Rod Dennis says petrol costs "might bottom out over the next few weeks".

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ oil producers are planning to cut oil output to around 1.16 million barrels per day, which Mr Dennis says we could see petrol prices "head up slightly".

For diesel, he says it remains "massively overpriced" across the country, despite wholesale prices being cheaper than unleaded.

The wholesale prices of the two fuels had been virtually identical in previous months, but petrol has been creeping up to at least 5p more per litre.


Smaller lenders pull mortgage deals over interest rate concerns

A jump in UK borrowing costs over the last 48 hours has forced smaller British mortgage lenders to temporarily withdraw deals and reprice offers for new customers.

UK gilts have risen sharply yesterday and today (to their highest level since after the disastrous mini-budget last year) after inflation figures showed price rises are not easing as quickly as hoped - leading to forecasts that interest rates will have to rise again.

Central banks raise rates so people have less money to spend, and save more, which tends to curb inflation.

As Ed Conway explained in our 6.43am post, the Bank rate could now peak at 5.5% this year - last week the expectation had been 4.75%.

Now, Reuters reports that at least seven small lenders have pulled products or announced a repricing this week.

These lenders are mostly focused on the buy-to-let market - and none of them are major high street banks.


Car production increases for third month in a row

Car production has increased for the third month in a row as shortages of supplies continued to ease, new figures show.

A total of 66,527 cars were made in April, an increase of almost 6,000 on the same month last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Exports drove production, rising 14.7% to 54,820 vehicles, with more than four out of five cars built in this country heading overseas.

The European Union remained the most important global market, taking 58% of all exports, followed by the US, China and Australia.

Hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) represented more than a third of all production.

(Video) ‘It keeps me awake at night’ - how the cost of living crisis is affecting everyday life


Savings deals of the week expert Rachel Springall has published her savings deals of the week.

Chip – Instant Access powered by ClearBank

"Chip has increased the rate on its Instant Access powered by ClearBank product to 3.75% this week, improving its position in the market. Savers searching for a competitive rate on a flexible savings account may find this deal attractive as it allows unlimited withdrawals. Savers should be aware that they need to hold a Chip subscription (for which both free and paid options are available)."

Minimum opening amount: £1

Investec Bank plc – 1-Year Fixed Rate Saver

"Now paying 5.00%, the deal has improved its position within its sector against its peers and may be an attractive choice for savers looking to lock their money away for a year for a guaranteed return."

Minimum opening amount: £5,000

UBL UK – 1 Year Fixed Rate Cash ISA

"Now paying 4.35% on maturity, savers may find this an attractive choice if they have yet to use their ISA allowance, but they must be comfortable with their initial investment as further additions are not permitted."

Minimum opening amount: £2,000

Gatehouse Bank – Easy Access Cash ISA

"Savers who want flexibility with their ISA cash may find the latest rate rise by Gatehouse Bank appealing. The deal now pays an expected profit rate of 3.55% and improves its position within the top rate tables in its sector. The account offers a monthly expected profit option, which may appeal to savers looking to supplement their income."

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NatWest – 2 Year Fixed Rate ISA Issue 323

"This week, NatWest has increased the rate on its 2-Year Fixed Rate ISA, which now pays 4.50%. The deal takes a more prominent position within its sector against its peers and may well attract savers who plan to use their tax-free ISA allowance. Savers who are happy to lock their cash away until 2025 can make further additions until a certain date, which may appeal to those who may have extra cash to invest or transfers in."

(Video) Cost of living hitting pensioners in the pocket

Minimum opening amount: £1,000


Will the cost of living go down UK? ›

The Office for Budget Responsibility is warning of a big drop in living standards over the next two years. Once inflation is taken into account, household disposable income is set to fall by 5.7% between 2022 and 2024. That is the largest two-year fall since records began in the mid-1950s.

How can I save money on my energy bill UK? ›

use LED or other energy-efficient light bulbs. turn off plug sockets at the wall if you're not using them. close your curtains in the evening to keep in heat when it's cold. make sure your fridge is set between 3 and 5 degrees and defrost your freezer regularly.

Is UK more expensive to live than USA? ›

The average rent per month for a one-bedroom flat in the UK is £700. In the USA it is $1,169, which works out to around £940 per month, making the UK a clear winner here.

Is it more expensive to live in England than the US? ›

Overall, the cost of living in the U.K. is 0.49% lower than in the United States. Rent overall is about 22.55% lower in the U.K. You would need $4,700 per month to finance a modest lifestyle in London, compared to $5,822 for the equivalent lifestyle in New York City.

Does everyone in the UK get help with energy bills? ›

All businesses will get help with their energy bills as part of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Why is the UK paying so much for energy? ›

First, around 85% of households use gas boilers to heat their homes, and around 40% of electricity is generated in gas fired power stations. Second, these are higher proportions than other European countries. Third, houses in the UK are poorly insulated compared to elsewhere on the continent.

Is the UK paying the most for energy? ›

Brits pay more for their power than anywhere else on the planet. The UK's energy price cap was raised in 2022 from 28p to 34p per kWh. Much like the rest of the world, prices have increased due to reduced supply from Russia due to the Ukraine conflict, as well as the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Is it better to live in England or America? ›

The UK is often considered to be a cheaper place to live. The cost of living in both countries is not the same and can vary depending on where people choose to live. It's also important to note that the average salary for someone in the US is significantly higher than what it would be in the UK due to taxes.

Is it safer to live in UK or USA? ›

Is the UK safer than the USA? The UK has a lower overall crime rate than the US, but the US has a lower rate of certain types of crime, such as property crime. In terms of violent crime, the US has a higher rate than the UK.

Is US food cheaper than UK? ›

Cost of Food

Generally speaking, the USA tends to be a little more expensive when it comes to grocery shopping. Bread, rice, and many fruits and vegetables are mostly less expensive in the UK. However, keep in mind that foods such as milk, chicken breasts, and eggs will cost you between 20-40% more in the UK.

Can I live in England as an American? ›

Contrary to popular belief, you need a visa to move to the UK if you are an American citizen. The only exception to this is that if you are visiting with no long-term plans, you can stay in the UK without a visa for six months – but you cannot work during your visa-free stay.

What is the average salary in the UK? ›

As you'll probably already know, your twenties aren't generally the bit of your life when you're raking it in. The median salary for men between 22 and 29 was £26,856 in 2021, and for women £25,115. Earning power tends to peak in middle age, with the median weekly income hitting £704 between 40 and 47.

What is a good salary in the UK? ›

What is a good salary in the UK? Between £2,500 and £3,000 is considered to be an ideal monthly net income in the UK. That salary could support a comfortable life in a city, including a two-bedroom flat, entertainment and leisure.

Does everyone in the UK get the 400 energy grant? ›

The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) is a non-repayable discount of £400 from the government, that every household with a domestic electricity connection will receive from October 2022 until 31 March 2023, to help offset higher energy bills.

What happens if you don't pay your electric bill UK? ›

Here's what can happen: The missed payments could be marked as defaults on your credit report. Your debt could be passed onto a debt collection agency. Or the company could apply to a court to get a county court judgement (CCJ) against you.

What is the Winter Fuel Payment in Wales? ›

This is known as a 'Winter Fuel Payment'. The amount you get includes a 'Pensioner Cost of Living Payment'. This is between £150 and £300. You'll get this extra amount in both winter 2022 to 2023 and winter 2023 to 2024.

Does Britain have an energy crisis if so why? ›

The huge increase in gas prices forces some energy suppliers in the UK to go out of business. By the end of December 2021, 28 energy companies close their doors, affecting over two million customers. All told, gas prices in the UK more than quadruple during this period to 180 pence per therm.

Why is gas so expensive in UK? ›

We don't have enough gas

The UK's gas storage levels are “historically low,” according to Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley. We have just 10 terawatt hours (TWh) of gas, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Why is Britain in an energy crisis? ›

This is partially due to the UK's reliance on gas. In 2021, natural gas made up 42% of the UK's energy demand, and was required for 29% of its energy production.

Which country has the most expensive electricity in the world? ›

The small pacific nation of the Solomon Islands boasts the unenviable title of having the most expensive electricity in the world, but it's looking to lose that status with some new projects. More on: Solomon Islands. Energy.

What country pays the most for electricity? ›

Countries with high prices for electricity
  • Denmark. Electricity costs more in Denmark than nearly anywhere else in the world. ...
  • Germany. Not far behind Denmark, Germany has the second-highest electricity cost in the world according to most sources. ...
  • United Kingdom. ...
  • Austria. ...
  • Italy. ...
  • Belgium. ...
  • Bermuda. ...
  • Spain.

Which country has the most expensive energy in the world? ›

Denmark. Denmark is the country with the highest cost of electricity- For one kilowatt-hour, the citizens of Denmark pay USD 0.54.

Will the cost of living go down 2023 UK? ›

Global recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting further pressure on prices. In the UK, the price of consumer goods and services rose at the fastest rate in four decades in the year to October 2022. The annual inflation rate fell to 7.8% in the 12 months to April 2023, down from 8.9% in March 2023.

Will inflation go down in 2023 UK? ›

We expect inflation to fall quite quickly, to around 5% by the end of this year and then meet our 2% target by late 2024. Why is inflation expected to fall quickly during 2023? What is the Bank of England doing to help bring inflation down? How does raising interest rates lower inflation?

Is the UK becoming too expensive to live? ›

The cost of living increased sharply across the UK during 2021 and 2022. The annual rate of inflation reached 11.1% in October 2022, a 41-year high, before easing in subsequent months. It was 10.1% in March 2023, the seventh successive month of double-digit inflation.

Why is UK cost of living so high? ›

Many of the reasons are the same - increased energy costs, shortages of goods and materials and the fallout from Covid. The annual inflation rate for countries which use the euro is estimated to be 6.9% for March, down from 8.5% in February. Inflation has been falling in the US too.

Is it wise to move to UK in 2023? ›

There are many developmental possibilities for growth and career enhancements within the country. Employment in the country has seen steady growth, providing better lifestyle prospects. This factor and many others add to the demand for the country, making it an ideal place to migrate from India to the UK in 2023.

Will food prices go down in 2023 UK? ›

Food retailers have said they expect prices to rise in 2023 overall but with the rate of inflation declining through the year and some products which have seen the sharpest rises falling in price.

Why is UK inflation so high? ›

Britain has struggled more than other countries with the surging cost of food, a shortage of workers to fill jobs and its heavy reliance on natural gas to generate power and domestic heating, all of which adds to inflation pressure. Below is an explanation of Britain's high inflation problem.

How bad will inflation be in 2025? ›

Projected annual inflation rate in the United States from 2010 to 2028*
CharacteristicInflation rate
9 more rows
Apr 20, 2023

When was the last cost of living crisis UK? ›

Since late 2021, the prices for many essential goods in the United Kingdom began increasing faster than household incomes, resulting in a fall in real incomes.

What will UK interest rates be in 5 years? ›

After hitting a new high of 5%, UK interest rates are expected to fall sharply in the coming two years with rates possibly between 3.5% and 4% in 2024 before falling to between 3% and 3.5% in 2025. UK interest rates are expected to stabilise between 3.0% and 3.5% between 2025 and 2027.

How much money do you need to live a good life in UK? ›

The average wage that was seen as a sum on which people could live comfortably is £16,300 more than the £33,000 median annual pay for full-time employees in the tax year ending in April 2022, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

How much money is enough to live in UK? ›

The average cost of living as a family of four is around $3,135(£2,268) without house rent. As a single person or student, the estimated cost of living per month in the UK is $900(£651) without rent.

Which state is cheaper to live in UK? ›

Durham is a popular, one of the cheapest places to live in the UK., especially for students. Durham has many good law schools and universities, and living costs are reasonable. The average rent of a 1BHK apartment in in County Durham is £650 per month, while outside the city it is £360 per month.

Is food cheaper in America than UK? ›

Cost of Food

Generally speaking, the USA tends to be a little more expensive when it comes to grocery shopping. Bread, rice, and many fruits and vegetables are mostly less expensive in the UK. However, keep in mind that foods such as milk, chicken breasts, and eggs will cost you between 20-40% more in the UK.

Where is the most expensive country to live? ›

Monaco is the most expensive country to live in, with a cost of living of $3,585 per month. Other expensive countries to live in include the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Singapore, all of which have a cost of living of over $2,000 per month.

Will prices go down in 2023? ›

In some categories there will be deflation, or an outright drop in price levels. In the charts below, these trends show up as a declining rate of year-over-year inflation toward the end of 2022. By the end of 2023, many and perhaps all of those charts will show negative year-over-year inflation, or deflation.


1. The race for space: Home rental prices up by 20%
(Sky News)
(Get Geek Finance)
3. Is Refusing To Pay Energy Bills The Right Way To Protest About Price Hikes? | Good Morning Britain
(Good Morning Britain)
4. Broke: Britain's Debt Emergency | Dispatches | Channel 4 Documentaries
(Channel 4 Documentaries)
5. Financial planner’s tips to combat cost of living | 9 News Australia
(9 News Australia)
6. Cost of Living crisis: Your Questions Answered - BBC News
(BBC News)


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