Financial expert Martin Lewis described a further rise in the energy price cap in the fall as “like a panto”. A one-off live special of this money show aired on ITV on Tuesday, with the broadcaster focusing on the cost of living crisis.
“Inflation is at catastrophic levels. Interest rates, food, petrol prices are skyrocketing and today we hear Ofgem estimate another 42% rise in energy prices” The audience groaned as he came to the end of his sentence with Martin adding, “Exactly. It looks like panto – I wish it was.”
He added: “Together it is crippling the livelihoods of millions of people and I fear they are on the verge of crippling the lives of those who need it most.” But Martin stressed that the show was “practical and not political” and that he would take questions from viewers about energy bills and the cost of living crisis.
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He spent part of the hour-long special discussing the holidays and answering questions about the cost of living with viewers encouraged to send in their questions via Twitter or email. Co-presenter Angellica Bell said the couple were “overwhelmed” with energy questions following Ofgem’s recent announcement.
The MoneySavingExpert founder took time from the show, which was originally meant to be about travel issues, to answer questions about the cost of living crisis and energy issues. The presenter gave urgent advice to those changing energy tariffs. With the cap due to rise by 42% in October, households could end up paying around £2,800, according to Ofgem.
A viewer, Andrew from Teeside, asked Martin if he should switch from a variable rate to a fixed rate. Martin gave an overview saying, “The cap will increase by 42%. Even then, the new price cap will be [in place] for three months, but we expect the next price cap to be the same.
“Then it could go down. If you can find a 30% lower fixed rate, that might work. We see existing customer fixes. I believe there is a two year Eon patch and a British Gas patch which are in the 30% range. If you find one and it’s less than 30% of what you’re paying now, you might want to look into it. »
In the special, Martin also revealed he had asked Rishi Sunak to do more on the cost of living crisis, saying, “I was on the phone with the chancellor yesterday. And I was pushing very hard because I’m very worried that people are choosing between freezing and starving.
“They are absolutely aware of these difficulties. An additional £165billion in savings has been built up during the pandemic – these savings were for a rainy day and the truth is that it is raining. People who have savings are expected to use them, those who have the resilience are expected to use it. What concerns me are those who don’t have the resilience. Help is needed. And I think there is will have more help to come – I don’t know how big it will be.