Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian:
The sixth-richest country in the world faces a winter of humanitarian crisis. Unless the government acts now, millions of Britons will be unable to keep their homes warm. Some will die while, as the NHS warns, many more will fall seriously ill. Schools, hospitals and care homes across the country must choose between busting their budgets or freezing. Countless shops and businesses will close, never to open again. More than 70% of pubs are preparing for last orders, while any restaurant, cafe, chippy or kebab shop must now face existential threat, thanks to a quadrupling of their energy bills, surging food prices and a recession that will kill discretionary spending. As economic catastrophes go, this looks far bigger than the 2008 crash. It promises to reshape our everyday lives and social fabric.
That is the meaning of today’s statement from the watchdog Ofgem. The new price cap of £3,549 it has set for household energy bills is almost triple that of last winter, and for many it is simply unaffordable. When it kicks in, at the start of October, 25% of Britons will not be able to pay their fuel bills.