‘We’re choosing between using the oven or lights’ - how cost of living crisis is affecting Liverpool families

Families and young couples across Merseyside are increasingly concerned about the cost of living crisis.

The cost of living crisis is causing great concern for people on Merseyside.

The price of household bills and mortgage payments for a typical family in Liverpool will hit a staggering £1,185 next month, exclusive analysis on behalf of LiverpoolWorld shows. This is £254 more per month than a year ago, a 27% rise.

Liverpool Community Advice have warned that retired, disabled people and young families will simply not be able to afford to pay.

Meanwhile, the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation report shows Liverpool as the third most deprived area out of 317 in England, and all six local authorities in the Liverpool City Region are in the top sixty.

LiverpoolWorld spoke to a selection of young people in the region about how the cost of living crisis is affecting them.

The price of household bills and mortgage payments for a typical family in Liverpool will hit a staggering £1,185 next month. Image: AntonioDiaz - stock.adobe.com

Louise - ‘It’s kept me up at night’

Louise Clements is a 25-year-old Trainee Pyschological Well-Being Practitioner, and lives with her partner, Ben, in Noctorum.

She said: “We’re fortunate that our house is quite good for retaining heat so we currently pay £122 a month for gas and electric.

“At the moment, we’re in credit because we don’t need to put the heating on often but even with our low usage, our estimate for next year is £450 a month and I don’t know where I’m going to get that money from.

“It’s kept me up at night a couple of times.”

Louise’s partner, Ben is a dispatch officer and they both earn above average wages.

She said: “We both got good jobs and really low outgoings so it’s ridiculous that two people bringing in over £45,000 a year collectively are so terrified of how we’ll pay the bills.

“I genuinely have no idea where I’ll get the extra money from and our energy usage is so low already that without living with no lights on and eating cold food, we can’t reasonably reduce our usage any more.”

Previously working in social housing, Louise is worried about vulnerable people. She added: “I’ve seen first hand how badly it affects vulnerable people when their boiler stops working or their electricity goes off.

“So many elderly people barely have anything left from their pensions already and this price cap increase could see them go cold, hungry or both.”

Liz - ‘It’s becoming impossible’

Liz Tear, a 19-year-old student, said her family are struggling with the cost of living, especially the price of energy.

She told LiverpoolWorld: “With the energy increases, my family have had to have a conversation about lighting and heating.

“At the moment, we’re having to choose between using the oven and having the lights on. When it gets colder we’re then going to have to decide whether we want light or heating.

“We’ve always been so careful around our energy usage, for environmental and financial reasons, but now it’s becoming impossible to have a good cooked meal and lighting at our house.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post is joining National World sister titles across the country to call on new Prime Minister Liz Truss to take urgent action over the cost of living crisis.

LiverpoolWorld is campaigning for new Prime Minister Liz Truss to take immediate action:

  • To stop the cost of energy from going above double the levels seen last winter, for both households and businesses;
  • To help those on prepayment meters so they are no longer facing higher energy prices; and
  • To tell energy companies that they cannot cut off the supply to any homes this winter if people fall behind on their bills.

How is the cost of living crisis in Liverppool affecting you? Contact LiverpoolWorld and speak to one of our reporters in confidence at [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook.