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UNDER PRESSURE

Cost of Living payment latest: Millions forced to sell belongings to pay off bills; plus how to save money & energy

- Families’ mortgages set to soar by £1000s
- Bank of England steps in to save Brits’ pensions
- Warning house prices could fall by 15%

MILLIONS of Brits are being forced to sell their belongings to pay off their bills during the cost of living crisis, a shock report has found.

Today, Which? said energy firms "can and should do more to help" after a new survey suggested 65% of households had resorted to measures such as cutting back on essentials, selling items or dipping into savings to fund the increasing costs of bills.

The watchdog is calling on businesses to do more as an "alarming" number of households struggle with the financial impact of the cost of living crisis.

It comes as Britain's pensions watchdog welcomed the Bank of England (BoE)'s intervention on Wednesday - saving "swathes" of funds from collapsing.

The BoE was forced to take action by buying up £65bn long-term Government bonds due to a "material risk to UK financial stability" - while the IMF urged the Chancellor to change tactics.

Read our cost of living live blog below for the latest updates....

  • Louis Allwood

    Morrisons drop petrol price soon

    Morrisons will help people during the cost of living crisis save money on their fuel by offering 5p off a litre next Sunday.

    The supermarket has said customers who spend £40 in store between September 29 and October 9 will get a 5p off coupon.

    The offer will be available to use at all of Morrisons' 339 petrol stations across the UK.

    Customers have until October 16 to redeem their money-off voucher.

  • Louis Allwood

    Be sure to turn off ‘vampire appliances’

    So-called “vampire appliances” drain energy when left on standby or when used inefficiently – such as a TV and extra fridges.

    Desktop computers and electric towel rails are among some of the worst offenders – they could be adding up to £500 onto your yearly costs.

    Turn them off correctly – by switching them off at the plug and NOT via the standby button – to avoid a big bill sting.

  • Louis Allwood

    Top tips to reduce bills

    The pros from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk are sharing their top tips on how to reduce heat loss in the home ahead of the chilly months.

    Store your items carefully

    Loft wool works by trapping air in its void and by squashing it, you reduce its effectiveness. It’s best to use something like timber boards to store your items and make sure they are raised above the loft wool.

    Use reflective foil behind radiators

    Placing reflective foil behind radiators will reflect the heat back into the room rather than allowing it to escape through the walls and windows. If you’re looking for a quick solution, try wrapping a piece of cardboard in foil and placing it behind the radiator.

    Use draught excluders

    Turning off some of the radiators in rooms you don’t intend on using this winter is a great way to save money. However you’ll want to make sure no cold air from these rooms seeps through to the rest of your home.

  • Louis Allwood

    When does the Warm Home Discount scheme start?

    Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023 under the Warm Home Discount scheme.

    You'll be sent a letter about the scheme in October if you qualify for the help.

    In previous years the cash was split across four payments - giving customers a £37 discount off their bills each month from December to March.

    The way in which you'll be paid this year will be confirmed by your energy supplier in due course.

    You'll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:

  • Louis Allwood

    'Important we get this economy growing'

    Treasury Secretary Chris Philp denied the UK is experiencing an economic crisis.

    He told LBC: “The Bank of England intervened in a targeted way yesterday… that intervention appears to have been successful.

    "What is ultimately important is that we get this economy growing, we get people’s wages going up, that is what the growth plan will do.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Tip for reducing bills

    Cash strapped Brits are being given advice on how improved insulation could help them save on their energy bills.

    The penny pinching pros from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk are sharing their top tips on how to reduce heat loss in the home ahead of the chilly months.

    They said that increase loft insulation can help reduce bills.

    A quarter of a home's heating is lost through poor roof insulation. The good news is this problem is relatively easy to fix yourself. All you need to do is purchase some insulation rolls and lay down the material in your loft.

  • Louis Allwood

    Martin Lewis gives advice to mortgage customers 

    Martin Lewis in moneysavingexpert.com's latest newsletter has tried to answer some of the questions mortgage lenders might have amidst the turmoil.

    Standard variable mortgages are usually what borrowers are put onto after their fixed rate deal ends but interest rates on these types of mortgages can go up at any time.

    Tracker mortgages are similar, but they follow the Bank of England's base rate more closely and Lewis has said it might be worth ditching your old tracker or variable mortgage deal and switching to another.

    Moneysavingexpert.com's mortgage comparison tool can show you some of the rates available to you.

    You can always get a new deal with your existing lender as well, known as a "product transfer".

  • Louis Allwood

    Truss claims energy package will help reduce food prices

    Speaking on BBC radio station this morning, Liz Truss said her energy package will help reduce overall inflation, which will help reduce food prices as well.

    She explained: "Farmers, people that produce food, have energy going into their production so it will help reduce prices overall."

  • Louis Allwood

    Christmas shopping made a little easier

    If you click on a link in this article, we may earn affiliate revenue

    Supermarket giant Tesco is launching a giant sale with up to half price on toys.

    The grocer said it wants to help parents spread the cost of Christmas with the sale which starts from Monday, October 3.

    All toys will be discounted by 40 to 50% with prices starting from £7.50, but you'll need a Clubcard.

    Some of the products on offer include a Lego Friends Value pack, down from £40 to £24, a Hy-pro football table for £12 down from £24 and a squishmallow toy for £11.50 down from £23.

    The sale will run until November 2 across 260 Tesco stores.

  • Louis Allwood

    Take meter readings now

    Millions of households have been urged to take meter readings today ahead of the price rises this week.

    If you don't send regular meter readings to your supplier, they will charge you an estimated cost, which could see you paying too much.

    The average household energy bill will go up from £1,971 to a frozen £2,500 next month under the Energy Price Guarantee announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss earlier this month.

    However, millions of households will be receiving a £400 energy rebate off their bills from October to March 2023.

  • Louis Allwood

    Liz Truss claims action was taken to get 'the economy going'

    The PM said: "The important thing is the British government acted to protect people from these high energy costs, to make sure we're getting the economy going."

  • Louis Allwood

    Government 'working very closely with the BoE'

    Liz Truss has said that the government are "working very closely with the BoE" after facing "issues with energy".

    When told how a local resident was surviving on a food bank, Liz Truss said that it is clearly "very difficult for people".

    Liz Truss added that the action they are taking is "to help people" in the long term.

  • Louis Allwood

    PM makes first appearance since mini-budget announcement

    Prime Minister Liz Truss has said, in her first media comments since last week's mini-budget, that "we had to take decisive action".

    Liz Truss has claimed that "urgent action" was taken to deal with inflation and to get the economy moving.

    The PM has also claimed that the decisions have been made to get people through the winter.

  • Henry Moore

    FREE debt advice for struggling Brits

    There are various services available as costs mount.

    Here are some free services that may be of use:

  • Louis Allwood

    'Millions are scared'

    Lib Dems leader Ed Davey has called for the Conservative Party to cancel their conference next week to "calm" the situation as "millions are scared".

    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The government has got to calm the situation, it's got to reverse the huge mistakes it made last Friday.

    "There are millions of people now who are scared, they're terrified about what's happening.

    "This is a crisis of the government's making."

  • Louis Allwood

    Kwasi Kwarteng had 'taken his eye off the ball'

    Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng had "taken his eye off the ball" with his mini-budget announcement, Liz Truss's external adviser on the economy has said.

    Gerard Lyons told sky news that Kwasi Kwarteng failed to prepare the markets before the big announcement last week.

    Mr Lyons said: "The chancellor, whilst he had focused on the general public and on British businesses, he had not really prepared the financial markets fully.

    "And I think he had taken his eye off the ball slightly, shall we say, in having not prepared the markets for what he was doing in the budget and I felt that he overstepped the mark last week.

    "So it was a combination of all three factors - the febrile markets because of the global backdrop, the actions of the Bank of England last Thursday, but let's be in no doubt, it was primarily the mini-budget last Friday that triggered this latest series of events."

  • Henry Moore

    Government outlines ‘clear commitment to fiscal discipline’

    In a meeting with top bankers on Wednesday, the Chancellor outlined the government’s commitment to ‘fiscal discipline.’

    “The chancellor underlined the government’s clear commitment to fiscal discipline and reiterated that he is working closely with the governor of the Bank of England and the OBR [Office for Budget Responsibility] ahead of delivering his medium-term fiscal plan on 23 November,” a statement from the Treasury said.

    This came just hours after the BoE was forced to step in to prevent ‘swathes’ of pension plans from collapsing.

  • Louis Allwood

    Government accused of 'undercutting' the UK's economic institutions

    The Government has been accused of "undercutting" the UK's economic institutions by the former Bank of England Governor.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir Mark Carney said that "working at cross-purposes with the bank" has caused a "dramatic" turn in financial markets.

    He says: "Unfortunately having a partial Budget, in these circumstances - tough global economy, tough financial market position, working at cross-purposes with the Bank - has led to quite dramatic moves in financial markets."

    Speaking about the absence of an OBR forecast, he says: "I don't understand why it seems unusual that you actually want to know the numbers in a budget, after all that is what a budget is, and understand the forecasts underpinning those numbers.

    "And then make your own judgements about whether those are plausible. It's important to have it open to independent and dare I say expert scrutiny. That's the system that's been put in place."

  • Henry Moore

    Why did the BoE intervene yesterday?

    Sky News has reported that without yesterday's BoE intervention, millions of Brits would have seen their pension funds collapse.

    Sky News’ economic editor Ed Conway said: “It’s very similar in kind of wholesale terms to what we saw with Northern Rock when there was that run on that bank back in 2007.

    “It’s a vicious cycle. Essentially, people trying to withdraw money, which in turn sometimes leads inevitably to financial collapse. 

    “I am told there were a swathe of pension funds that, were it not for the government’s intervention, would have essentially collapsed by this afternoon – that’s how fast-moving this crisis in the pensions markets was. 

    “The scale of this crisis is now becoming clearer.”

  • Henry Moore

    BoE intervention ‘exposed vulnerabilities in the UK’s pension sector’ expert claims

    Yesterday's events have exposed weaknesses in Britain’s pension system, an expert has said.

    “The sharp fall in the value of the pound and rise in the yields on UK Government bonds in the wake of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s dramatic tax-cutting fiscal plan, set to be funded by Government borrowing, has also exposed vulnerabilities in the UK’s pension sector,” Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at DIY investing, told the Evening Standard.

    The BoE was forced to step in yesterday, in order to prevent “swathes” of pension funds from collapsing.

  • Henry Moore

    Is your pension safe?

    Sky News has reported that yesterday's Bank of England intervention was to prevent what is being called a “run on pension funds.”

    In short, the BoE stepped in to prevent the collapse of the British pension system.

    Following this intervention, your pension should be OK.

    However, this is a very fast-moving situation.

  • Henry Moore

    Former Chancellor ‘astounded’ by Mini Budget decisions as interest rates soar

    Lord Clarke, former Chancellor of the exchequer, has admitted his shock at some of the policies included in last week’s Mini Budget, as the market continues to respond negatively.

    Mr Clarke said yesterday that the announcement was a “serious mistake.”

    On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Bank of England stepped in to prevent “swathes” of Brits’ pensions from collapsing.

  • Henry Moore

    Financial secretary says government is NOT responsible for crisis

    Andrew Griffith, the financial secretary for the Treasury, has rejected claims that the government are responsible for the current financial crisis gripping Britain.

     “What we’ve seen today is the Bank of England do their job,” he said.

    When asked who is to blame for the plummeting pound, he added: “We are seeing the same impact of Putin’s war in Ukraine cascading through things like the cost of energy, some of the supply side implications of that, and that’s impacting every major economy and just to save every major economy, you’re seeing interest rates going up as well. 

    “Every major economy is dealing with exactly the same issues.” 

  • Henry Moore

    How will the plummeting pound affect your savings?

    The pound hit its lowest point ever this week, but what does that mean for your savings?

    Simply put, the weaker the pound, the more you might find your spending money doesn’t stretch as far.

    Romi Savova, chief executive of retirement platform PensionBee and part of The Sun’s Squeeze Team, said: “With the pound’s current economic position, those who are currently withdrawing from their pension may see reduced purchasing power.”

    However, it is important to note that saving is a marathon, not a sprint, while the pound might be low now, it could shoot up in the future.

    Click here to read more.

  • Henry Moore

    Expert explains the Bank of England’s intervention

    The BoE intervened to prevent the collapse of British pensions yesterday, and an expert has explained why.

    Steve Cameron of Aegon said: “The Bank of England is seeking to avoid gilt yields rising further.

    “This happens if the demand for gilts compared to the supply falls, meaning their prices fall and their yields rise.

    “The Bank may buy gilts to keep the price from falling further and hence the yield rising further.

    “Some defined benefit pension schemes have been selling gilts, increasing the supply. This won’t directly affect the pensions of members of these schemes.”

    Click here to read more.

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