A campaign group is to hold 50 rallies across Britain protesting against the government’s handling of the cost of living crisis, saying “it’s not good just being p***** off”.
The trade union-led Enough is Enough group’s announcement comes on the same day as a new forecast said energy bills could reach nearly £5,300 a year by April: up more than £3,000 in the space of 12 months.
Enough is Enough's launch event will be held in London on Wednesday and led by senior leaders of trade unions currently involved in disputes with the government. Yahoo News UK has asked the group where the further events will be held.
The campaign has received 300,000 sign-ups and more than six million video views since it launched three days ago.
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Its demands are a “real” pay rise with a pathway to a minimum wage of £15 an hour; to “cancel” the next Ofgem price cap rise in October; introducing universal free school meals and reinstating the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift; capping rents and building 100,000 council houses a year; and to “tax the rich”.
The campaign has also said it will “take action against companies profiteering from this crisis”.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union - which is holding strikes on 26 and 31 August and 8 and 9 September over a pay dispute - and who will be speaking at next week’s launch event, said: “Working people are seeing how a tiny elite want to make their lives all about working harder and longer for less.
“Now that same elite is profiteering from a cost-of-living crisis that will drive millions into poverty with sky-high bills.”
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) which has also been holding pay dispute strikes, said: “It’s no good just being p***** off. You’ve got to say: ‘I’m going to turn that into an organisation with a set of demands and a way to fight for them.’”
In a new forecast released on Friday, models designed by energy consultancy Auxilione predicted the price cap on energy bills could reach £3,628 in October if wholesale prices for gas and electricity do not fall soon. It could then rise again to £4,538 in January and peak at £5,277 in April.
The average bill today is £1,971, which in itself was up £693 from £1,277 before April.
Enough is Enough’s campaign announcement follows previous warnings from Martin Lewis of consumer protests.
This week, the consumer champion and founder of the Money Saving Expert website called on Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two Conservative leadership candidates, to set out how they will tackle the energy crisis to alleviate the “mental health damage” facing millions in the UK.
Former chancellor Sunak has said he is prepared to find up to £10bn of extra support - with a vision to cover the total cost for up to 16 million vulnerable people, according to The Times.
It said he valued his cut to VAT on energy at £5bn, and would find the same amount again to go towards helping the most in need, as he warned: “You can’t heat your home with hope.”
Truss has stood by her tax-cutting plans, saying it is her “first preference” before considering other measures.
The foreign secretary has hinted she would consider further support for struggling households, but insisted she will not “write the budget in advance”.