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Children are suffering from food poisoning and are wearing dirty clothes as parents switch off key household appliances in a desperate attempt to save money amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to campaigners.
The manager of a food bank in Cornwall said several local kids were contending with a bout of food poisoning after eating food that had gone off after sitting in a disconnected fridge or freezer.
He also said parents were opting to send their children to school in unwashed clothes in favour of keeping their washing machines turned off to economise as much as possible.
Simon Fann, who runs a food bank in Truro, told The Times yesterday: ‘It’s been reported to me that schools were advising that children were suffering from food poisoning because some parents are turning off their fridges and freezers overnight,’ before adding: ‘It’s not a Cornwall-specific thing.’
Meanwhile, energy expert Aled Stephens from the Energy Saving Trust said such appliances work best when left on and households which turn them off can actually see their energy usage increase.
‘Fridges and freezers are designed to be kept on all the time,’ he said.
‘They cool down to the set temperature automatically so you don’t need to turn them on and off yourself.
‘You won’t save energy by turning your fridge off for short periods of time because it will just use more energy to cool down again when you do turn it back on.
The manager of a food bank in Cornwall said several local kids were contending with a bout of food poisoning after eating food that had gone off after sitting in a fridge or freezer their parents had unplugged overnight to save energy
On average, secondary schools are now estimated to be spending more than £161,000 on energy while primaries are spending around £32,000, according to data compiled by the House of Commons Library
CEO of E.ON UK Michael Lewis calls for more intervention from the government to help customers with ‘unprecedented’ rising energy bills
Millions of Britons are scrambling to cut down on energy usage and reduce their costs amid spiraling energy prices and inflation.
The boss of energy supplier E.ON told the BBC yesterday that the energy cap could rise to as much as £2,800 and called for ‘substantial’ Government intervention to try and stop millions of people going into fuel poverty.
Michael Lewis, chief executive of the energy firm, said the ongoing increase in energy prices was ‘unprecedented’ and called for payments of Universal Credit and the Warm Homes Discount Scheme to be bumped up.
He said 40 per cent of its eight million UK customers will be in fuel poverty in October if the Government doesn’t help, and suggested it tax ‘those with the broadest shoulders’ to achieve this.
‘We are seeing a significant number of people in fuel poverty – that’s to say more than 10 per cent of their disposable income spent on energy,’ said Lewis.
He added that 20 per cent of people were in fuel poverty and this could rise to 40 per cent without ‘very substantial’ government intervention.
It comes as the Labour party warned children’s education could be severely impacted by the energy crisis as schools continue to shell out incredible sums of money just to keep the lights on.
The party said children’s futures are being put at risk, citing Government data which shows the cost of energy to state schools after a projected increase of 93 per cent at the end of 2021.
On average, secondary schools are now estimated to be spending more than £161,000 on energy while primaries are spending around £32,000, according to data compiled by the House of Commons Library.
Schools are not covered by the energy price cap, which only applies to domestic customers.
Shadow schools minister Stephen Morgan called on Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to form ‘a proper plan’ to tackle energy costs in schools.
The shadow schools minister said: ‘Ministers must get a grip and urgently work with schools to ensure rising costs do not lead to children missing out on further opportunities’ (Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is pictured speaking with the BBC on Sunday morning)
Schools face mounting budgetary pressures from inflation and sky-high energy prices which could put children’s education at risk
He said: ‘Children have already faced huge disruption due to the Government’s chaotic handling of the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis, made worse by Downing Street, is further squeezing school budgets.
‘Ministers must get a grip and urgently work with schools to ensure rising costs do not lead to children missing out on further opportunities.
‘Labour is calling on the Government to prioritise children’s learning and development post-pandemic, with breakfast and after-school clubs, tutoring and mental health support.
‘The Education Secretary must match this ambition with a proper plan to secure children’s futures.’