Thousands of Brits took to the streets in protest Saturday in London and other cities as a new energy price cap went into effect, raising energy prices for millions of UK households. The increased energy cap comes amid skyrocketing inflation that is already at a 40-year high. The new energy cap has increased the annual power bill for the average UK household from £1,971 to £2,500. Without the government’s intervention, energy prices would have continued to soar. According to new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, the government’s support of households and businesses protects them from energy hyperinflation, although many Brits disagree with her perspective.
The protests, which were organized by the group Don’t Pay UK, encouraged Brits to burn their energy bills. The organization’s goal is to have over a million Brits boycott paying their electric bills over the winter with over 200,000 people supporting the effort already. A spokesperson for Don’t Pay UK expressed the concerns of protestors, “Millions of us won’t be able to keep our heads above water and many will freeze when the weather turns cold.” A myriad of signs was on display during the protests reading, “Can’t Pay. Won’t Pay. Don’t Pay,” and “Can’t afford to live,” along with “Freeze profit, not people,” and “Eat the Tories.”
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The energy price cap has doubled since last year for the average household and the most recent increase comes as the UK Misery Index reaches its lowest point in 30 years. With the anticipation of a harsh winter, the European energy crisis is expected to worsen and leaders are worried that it could lead to social unrest. The Don’t Pay UK protests could just be the tip of the iceberg.