Households in Britons are the worst effects of a global crisis, with regulator Ofgem set to raise the price on bills to a record £3,582 in October. Charities have warned that millions of families could face fuel poverty as a result of this price increase, where energy bills constitute a significant portion of their income. Maxine Rothchester, a carer, is one such Briton, as she warned that the high bills will force her to go hungry to pay for the keeping her boy alive.
Isaac Blake, nine, is diagnosed with Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome – a serious condition that requires 24/7 care and specialist equipment to keep him alive.
His guardian, Ms Rothchester, has been taking care of the child since he was eight months old, and now fears how the duo will cope with the soaring costs.
She told Sky News: “I, like a lot of parents with children who need this equipment, am terrified.
“The equipment that we need is not a choice – it’s life for Isaac.
“He has a lift to get upstairs, we have a bath that goes up and down, we have a profiling bed, he’s on oxygen 24/7 – that’s run by a machine. Every aspect of his life is controlled by electricity.”
‘Without electricity, my boy will die’ Mum facing horror scenario as energy bills soar
Isaac suffers with Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome
Ms Rothchester noted that the rising energy bills had already begun affecting her.
She said: “We’re probably spending about £30 a week more than we were. I don’t quite know how we are going to cope when it all goes up again.
“Because the money coming in is going to stay the same (but) the money going out is going to be a lot more.”
Isaac, who weighs just 11 kilos, has a mental age of a newborn and is reliant on his carer 24/7 to survive.
Energy price cap timeline
Because of this, she cannot work and has to depend on Universal Credit and help from the NHS.
She explained: “Yes, we do get disability living allowance, but that’s supposed to be there to cover things for Isaac like play equipment.
“It’s not meant to pay the household bills, which is what it’ll end up going on.
She added: “I’m not asking for much, I’m just asking for help with power to keep my little boy alive.”
Campaigners have slammed these recent figures, with Simon Francis, the coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, warning that the decision could lead to a rise in unnecessary deaths this winter.
He relies on specialist machinery to keep him alive
Isaac relies on his machinery to keep him alive
Maxine cannot work because of her caring duties
He said: “Ultimately, this decision will force more people into fuel poverty in the middle of winter, causing additional stress on the NHS and it may ultimately lead to increased levels of excess winter deaths this year.
“It is simply inhumane.
“It’s clear that the Government and the Conservative Party leadership hopefuls just don’t get the scale of the problem facing the country, nor the public anger at rising bills. They are running out of time to act.”