In the UK, the cry “We are the people” also seems to be echoing ever louder through the streets. People are increasingly demonstrating against the sharp rise in energy prices, and now a boycott movement is spreading.
The group “Don’t Pay the UK” wants to get at least one million Britons not to pay their electricity bills in protest against the massive price increases. After all, the organization says, 6.3 million British households are slipping into fuel poverty due to the steep price increases.
“75,000 people have pledged to strike on Oct. 1! If the government and energy companies refuse to act, ordinary people will! Together we can enforce a fair price and affordable energy for all,” tweeted Don’t Pay the UK, an anonymous group leading the effort to get more than a million Britons to stop paying their electricity bills by Oct. 1.
This 'Don't Pay UK' campaigner calls on Brits to join in on collective action to protest against rising energy bills:
— LBC (@LBC) August 7, 2022
It is estimated that the average British household will have an electricity bill of about 300 pounds (US$360) in October, the Bank of England said in a warning. Overall inflation is expected to rise to 13 percent, although consumer price indexes are only a glossed-over inflation rate anyway.
For the majority of Britons, overall price increases are likely to be closer to 20 percent. The calculation of the consumer price index has been criticized from various sides. However, most critics agree that the official inflation rate is too low. In addition, each population group (families, single households, senior citizens, etc.) has utterly different expenditure structures.
🔥 75,000 people have pledged to strike on October 1st!
If the government & energy companies refuse to act then ordinary people will!
— Don't Pay. (@dontpayuk) August 5, 2022
But to put electricity prices into perspective, we have to make do with average values. According to the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average monthly income of a full-time employee was £2,650. Of course, with significant differences in the individual age groups. Nevertheless, it is clear that, given the generally rising cost of living and high rents, the situation is becoming difficult for more and more Britons.
The British news channel Glasgow Live reports that the strike is comparable to the “actions in the late 1980s and ’90s against the poll tax introduced by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In protest, 17 million people refused to pay it.” British financial journalist and broadcaster Martin Lewis commented on the boycott as follows:
You start from the following situation: If an electricity company has, say, a million customers and 1,000 of them don’t pay their bill, you turn off their electricity and threaten legal collection. If 10,000 customers do this, the situation is not yet threatening, but it is a bit more unpleasant since the company is already missing probably one percent of its revenue.
With 100,000 customers unwilling to pay, we are already talking about ten percent. That’s where the situation becomes more critical for the electricity supplier. And this is precisely the approach the British are now taking. Will they be successful?
Support for Don't Pay UK – which is urging consumers to cancel direct debit payments for their energy bills, is 'doubling every week' amid growing public anger over soaring domestic fuel prices https://t.co/lwcjz0SN3M
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) August 7, 2022
However, the blame for the high energy prices does not necessarily lie solely with the energy companies. Above all, the sanctions policy of the West, which the UK is playing a major role in driving forward, can be seen as the main cause of the enormous price increases.
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