PARENTS Jo and Jamie Spear said the Budget hasn’t done nearly enough to help with their family’s rocketing energy bills.
Their combined electricity and gas bills have quadrupled from £36 a month a couple of years ago to almost £200 now – costing them up to £2,400 a year.
They believe extending the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will make little difference when it is so high in the first place, following colossal energy price
rises last year. The couple, from Littlehampton, West Sussex, were forced to quit their jobs as a teacher and retail manager to look after disabled sons Archie, seven, and Max, ten, who are autistic, and their sister, Aubrey, five.
Now they receive universal credit and disabled carer’s allowance, but Mrs Spear, 32, said all their money went on energy and food, adding: ‘Energy bills are insane. The washing machine is on constantly, there’s a lot of washing, baths. Archie doesn’t sleep so there’s always a TV on or something going on.’
The extension of the cap on bills has done little to help. She said: ‘They’ve extended it until June. It’s not exactly a long measure – in June they can do whatever they want.’
The pair would love to return to work but can’t because the cost of paying for childcare would be too much.
Mrs Spear said they tried ‘everything’ to keep her husband in work, but there had been ‘a complete lack of childcare to support us’.