"You cannot tax a nation into prosperity" - readers discuss the rising living costs in 2022 as energy and utility bills go up

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The average water bill will go up by 1.7% a year in 2022, according to WaterUK. For Yorkshire, the average cost is expected to rise by -1.4%. We asked our readers for their view on the state of things currently.

Last week the government announced an energy bills discount, which you will pay back over five years, following the Ofgem announcement about the energy price cap being raised by more than 50% in April with further rises expected this year. While water bills will be going up on average nationally, Yorkshire Water says it’s average cost will rise by -1.4% which is quite positive. Still the rising cost of living is of greater concern.

We asked our readers how they felt knowing that there would be a rise in energy bills and national insurance contributions in the same month (April 2022), and this is what they had to say:

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Gary Wright commented that “It’s coming to something when you go round to your parents and their wearing gloves in theit homes, disgusting now the water board are at it shame on you. We, the people, will not forget, remember that.”

Monthly utility bills. Cost of Utilities. Planning for utility costs in the monthly budget. Electricity bills by state monthly report. Budget for highly-variable utility billsMonthly utility bills. Cost of Utilities. Planning for utility costs in the monthly budget. Electricity bills by state monthly report. Budget for highly-variable utility bills
Monthly utility bills. Cost of Utilities. Planning for utility costs in the monthly budget. Electricity bills by state monthly report. Budget for highly-variable utility bills

Neil Ian Spalding’s reply was something a number of readers agreed with, he wrote says that “GREED will destroy the world.” A point that was responded to by Matthew Parker, who said ‘“GREED” IS destroying the world.’

“People wanted brexit, they were warned it'd lead to price rises but they didn't care”, responded Stephen Porter. His comment received a reply from Steven William Collins, who said “nothing to do with Brexit, it was stated in the news and in a program from tv that most of the water companies have not been cleaning their water and have been pouring it into rivers. Now they've been caught out at last they talk of cleaning up the water. No doubt those at the top will still be topping up their salaries.”

“Would it do any good to worry?"

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Janine Kennedy Smith added her thoughts, saying that “You’d be silly not to be worried they’ll be no spare money to do anything apart from pay bills.”

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David Booth shared a little perspective, especially when it comes to being concerned by the state of things, “Would it do any good to worry?, can I stop the cost of living rising?, the answer to both is no, it is what it is and no amount of worry will change it. All you can do is try to work around it. I'm a pensioner, my heating is set at 16 degrees, if I cook a full meal or put a load of washing in I turn it down to 15 degrees. All you can do is try to cut back on your usage and consumption as much as possible. Priorities.”

Clare Skill followed David’s comment, saying “I completely agree with you there is nothing we can do apart from go to work and do our best to carry on. No point in worrying over something we have no control over.”

Chris Cannon has his view on exactly when this should have been a red flat, “The roots of this began 40 years ago when the utility companies were sold off… To encourage competition, what a mess.”

“Stagnant wages and rising bills”

Matt Tanser believes that much of the worry is caused by “Stagnant wages and rising bills.”

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This was followed by Nathan Boardman’s take, which many readers agreed with, when he wrote, “everything rising apart from wages”. Mark Woolley replied to Nathan, saying “but Boris says wages are rising.”

David Rayner replied to Nathan’s original take, saying “I think wages and pensions are rising too - just not as much. We had the same problem when we had the oil shortage in the past. At least we haven't had rolling power cuts yet.”

Whereas Kyle Mark Williams says it’s all down to “Greedy people putting things up cause they want more money that's why the world is messed up”, he may have a point there… right?

Adding his rather pointed take, David Rayner said “If you mean the rise in energy costs that are pushing all prices up then its no use worrying, its a fact of life world wide. You wanted green energy, you were told it would cost more (initially) and when it does its 'oh dear things are more expensive, it must be government or companies fault'. It sort of is because they listened to green campaigners and media and did what they wanted. You can't help some people, give me strength!”

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His comment was repsonded to by Matthew Parker, who wrote “Yeah, that's BS tho' innit. Solar and offshore wind are cheaper than any fossil fuel now.”

Andy Sutton added his thoughts, “Yes”, he is worried, “ripping everyone household off and working people high interest rates high national insurance gas electricity fuel the country a joke the list is endless.”

And Alison Macintyre followed up, saying “When the majority of people stop paying bills, because they can’t afford to…. Then what are they going to do?!!!! Cut us all off!!!! It’s getting more like a capitalist country every day!”

Some would argue that it has been that way for a very long time now Alison. This was the most popular comment, with many people agreeing with Alison’s view of things.

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Cat Tippitt’s comment is not only concerning but likely echoes the concerns for a number of people who may not have commented, “I'm disabled and beyond scared. When does this life become too much to bear? Soon, I think.”

Finally, Kaan Collins says that, “You cannot tax a nation into prosperity”

It’s a very difficult time for many and while the topic is something that is more than a little concerning, it is very important to get your thoughts. Thank you for sharing your comments, sadly we couldn’t include them all. But we appreciate your views, however they may differ.

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