Heartbroken mum tells James O'Brien she is eating her children's leftovers because of energy crisis

Devastated mother tells James O'Brien she is eating her children's leftovers because ...

A harrowing phone call from a single mother lifted the lid on the realities of the cost of living crisis.

The mother of three children, Zara, broke down to LBC's James O'Brien after revealing she had been forced to eat her children's leftovers due to the drastic energy increases. Zara's outgoings all go towards bills and council tax despite working full time.

It comes as Ofgem raised the price cap of gas and electricity by a staggering 54 per cent to £1,971 for an average home compared to £1,277. Experts predict it will be around £2,700 per year from October.

"I turned the boiler off a long time ago, and we use hot water bottles," she emotionally told O'Brien.

"I've got jumpers on the children, my mum's knitted socks. I've got a condition where I can't regulate my body heat.

"I didn't even want to come on, James.

"I work, and they say work is supposed to pay. And I'm on tax credits for my children, my income seems to go onto the bills and council tax."

Zara explained she was charged as a single adult for council tax, but once her son hits 18, she was informed "you pay full council tax".

"Even if you're working full time James, they don't understand, for a single person, with three children," Zara sobbed.

"I try and feed them. We have one meal a day James, they go without breakfast, and they choose too. I try and give them fruit, bananas in the morning.

"They all say 'mum I'm fine', but it's the guilt I live with that I make sure I give them a meal... in the evening. I'll eat their leftovers James, that's the situation."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The phonecall prompted thousands of furious responses, who were in disbelief that this is happening in 2022.

Some branded the Tories "disgraceful", while one Twitter user rightfully quizzed: "How can this be allowed to happen in any civilised country?"

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5 million households unable to live in a warm, safe home across the UK.

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: "If you're struggling to pay your bill, speak to your energy provider as they have to help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free, independent support."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)