Almost one in four say they won't turn heating on this winter – The Telegraph

Pollsters ask more than 2,000 UK adults how they will respond to increasing energy prices over the winter
Nearly one in four adults plans never to turn their heating on this winter, polling suggests, with average bills are set to rocket while temperatures drop.
The figure is even higher for parents with children under 18, a Savanta ComRes survey – carried out before the new price cap was announced last week – reveals.
The pollsters asked more than 2,000 UK adults how they would respond to increasing energy prices over the winter. Twenty-three per cent said they would not turn their heating on at all, with the figure rising to 27 per cent among parents with under-18s.
Seven in 10 (69 per cent) said they would switch their heating on less, and 11 per cent said they would take out a loan, with the latter figure rising again for those with children under 18 to 17 per cent.
It comes amid warnings that people are in for a dire winter, with the energy price cap set to rise by 80 per cent by October, pushing the average household’s yearly bill up from £1,971 to £3,549.
Nadhim Zahawi, the chancellor, has said he is working “flat out” to draw up options for a plan of action for the next prime minister so they can “hit the ground running” when they take office next month.
But some have accused the Government of being missing in action, while neither Tory leadership candidate has set out in full how they would help people ahead of the contest’s conclusion.
The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the survey, warned that families are being forced to make “heartbreaking decisions”, with the country on the brink of the worst cost of living crisis in a century.
The party is calling for ministers to scrap the energy price cap rise in October, funded partly by a further windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
The polling, conducted between July 29 and July 30, also suggests that parents of under-18s are increasingly likely to put more on their credit cards because of rising energy bills (33 per cent compared with a national average of 23 per cent).
The survey results were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade.
Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokesman, said: “Families and pensioners across the country are making heartbreaking decisions because the Government has failed to save them.
“It is a national scandal that parents are having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children. It shouldn’t be like this.
“Britain is on the brink of the worst cost of living crisis in a century and yet still Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will not scrap the energy price rise. It is clear energy prices must not be allowed to rise in October.”
Ms Jardine said an “economic catastrophe” is now “just a month away”, blaming “a zombie government in Westminster, and two leadership contenders living on another planet”.
She said it was “time to tax the record multi-billion pound profits of oil and gas companies and use the money to save British families and pensioners”.
A government spokesman said: “Direct support will continue to reach people’s pockets in the weeks and months ahead, targeted at those who need it most, like low-income households, pensioners and those with disabilities.
“As part of our £37 billion package of help for households, one in four of all UK households will see £1,200 extra support, provided in instalments across the year, and everyone will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills over winter.
“The Civil Service is also making the appropriate preparations in order to ensure that any additional support or commitments on cost of living can be delivered as quickly as possible when the new prime minister is in place.”
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