1 Gas prices
The cost of natural gas has quadrupled in four months, but energy companies cannot pass on the increase to customers because prices are capped by the government. The price cap will go up by an average of £139 in October, but dozens of smaller suppliers are expected to go out of business. When the cap is reviewed in April next year, it may go up by another £200 or more, some analysts believe. Gas costs are unlikely to fall for months, so heavy industry firms will face higher costs, and the UK is no longer part of the EU’s energy market which allows for simple cross-border trading of energy to keep prices more stable.
2 Universal credit
Ministers plan to cut the £20 Covid boost to the basic £118 a week Universal Credit (UC) payment on 6 October. Income tax, national insurance and the UC taper that means claimants receive only 37p for every £1 earned – as little as £2.24 per hour – meaning that someone working full time on the…