We should pay attention to Martin Lewis’ warning on looming energy bill crisis – Record View

Few people are more trusted on consumer issues than Martin Lewis.

His ITV advice programme and social media accounts are followed by millions.

So when he warns that some ­households face a looming choice between heating and eating amid a surge in energy bills, we should pay attention.

The cost of keeping our homes warm could jump by £800 per year on average unless something is done.

Inflation is running at a 10-year high and is pushing prices up for ­household staples from food to clothing.

The average price of goods rose by 0.8 per cent in December, from 0.3 per cent in November and the highest since March 2019.

It’s little wonder 2022 is being dubbed the year of “the squeeze” among consumer experts.

Lewis is right when he says a minimum 50 per cent increase in energy prices is unsustainable for many.

Tory ministers can’t stand back and do nothing. Energy is a reserved matter so Holyrood is limited in what it can do to mitigate this situation.

The UK Government must listen to consumer groups and act decisively.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is due to resume talks today with energy firms over how the state can help.

An announcement on the energy price cap – which polices how much suppliers can charge – is due to be made on February 7. Experts predict the cap will rise from £1277 a year to £1865.

It’s a price many people cannot afford. Measures must be taken now to rein in costs while we still can.

Listen and learn

The damage wreaked on society by Covid has exacerbated mental health problems, particularly in the young.

Those problems are aggravated further by huge delays in getting them into ­treatment. This appalling backdrop makes today’s account in the Daily Record of the tragic life and passing of Joshi Smith all the more poignant.

Joshi went from one psychiatrist to another until her family were effectively told that Scottish mental health services had no answer to her problems.

With suicide and drug addiction – closely associated with mental health breakdown – still increasing, Scotland must acknowledge we have another crisis to deal with.

Joshi’s parents are working tirelessly to bring an alternative mental health programme to Scotland.

The Trieste Model has been praised after huge success in Italy. It is now established in more than 30 countries.

Scotland must give due consideration to what might be learned from it.

There has never been a better to time to take a step back from our current model and take stock.

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