Family forced to choose between food and electricity amid cost of living crisis
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A family from Gloucestershire are expecting to have to choose between paying for food and electricity this autumn when the price cap rise on energy bills rises.
On Friday (26 August), Ofgem confirmed an 80 percent rise in the price cap from 1 October, which will send the average household's yearly bill from £1,971 to up to £3,549.
Rebecca Bryant, 31 and her boyfriend John Wynn, 45 have already seen their electricity bills double and their gas bills triple in recent months due to the cost of living crisis. The couple, who share seven-year-old Lilly are already considering selling their family car to make ends meet.
Rebecca explained: "We are already struggling to manage. We still have to manage until 7 September with no money and I still have to pay out for electricity as I am on pay as you go.
"I also need to buy food and a school uniform for my daughter this week as well.
"I might have to choose between going food shopping and putting more electric on.
"I'm finding it harder and harder every month with the increasing of everything going up.
"We have been thinking of getting rid of our family car so it can save us money too.
"It's getting harder for us to live off freezer food as my partner has just been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and gallstones so we have to be really careful with what we eat, but I do try to do batch cooking."
She continued: "It's going to be even harder to manage with the price cap going up.
"I just don't know how we are going to manage, but I guess we have to just try and save, but that's really hard to do when we are already finding it hard to cope."
Rebecca is currently a full time carer for Lily, who has learning disabilities and is deaf in one ear.
Meanwhile John is also currently unemployed and has been receiving sickness universal credit allowance for his depression and anxiety.
The family are currently living on Universal Credit (roughly £1,300 a month), disability benefits (£340 a month), child benefits (£84 a month) and carer's entitlement (264 a month).
After rent, the family said they receive £1,116 to live on.
Rebecca said: "In April, we spent £457 on food shop, £148 rent on top of the housing benefit, £133 on transport, £200 on bills, £46 on car insurance and tax and £147 on leisure.
"We've felt the stress and the punch of the cost of living crisis but feel so sorry for the families out there who don't get the extra help that we do from our disability and sickness entitlements. I can't imagine how hard it is for them."
The new price cap will affect 24 million households - approximately 85% of the UK population.
When the Tory leadership race comes to its conclusion on 5 September, the new prime minister – either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – will be tasked with announcing a plan to combat the cost of living crisis as soon as possible.