Soaring energy bills result in a trail of discord between tenants: UK
The cost-of-living crisis takes a huge toll on UK residents, especially as the demand for an increase in wages rises.
Tensions between flatmates in UK homes are on the rise as energy bills keep coming and amounts keep rising.
A schoolteacher, Joe, who shares a home in London with five other people expressed, "Everyone is conscious about not leaving lights on," as he added that the flatmates agreed to turn off heating in bedrooms but still turn it on in the living room.
However, strife can build up between roommates who want to keep the lights on and those who don't. "We have had a few passive-aggressive messages: If you're not in the room, turn the lights off," continued Joe.
No interest in installations
With inflation reaching its highest level in four decades, the cost-of-living crisis takes a huge toll on UK residents, especially as the demand for an increase in wages rises.
Simon Francis, the campaigner at pressure group End Fuel Poverty, relayed to AFP that no one was exempt from the fuel crisis. "People are all just suffering from this cost-of-living crisis -- so no matter really how much you're earning, you are going to be suffering," he said, adding, "Obviously those people who are earning the least are suffering the most. And clearly, that is potentially going to lead to tensions between housemates and flatmates."
Francis expressed that state financial assistance is not aiding residents as much as expected. "For some people, their landlord might actually be controlling their energy so they might be paying for it as part of their rental house," he said.
Francis continued, "What we're concerned about there is that people aren't then seeing the benefits of some of the support the government has introduced... So the landlords aren't necessarily passing through the savings that they're being given by the government."
Simon Knoplioch, who is employed in London's key finance sector, stated that installations pose "no interest" to landlords in order to profit from rising rent prices alongside high demand.
Earlier this month, the National Energy Action, a UK fuel poverty charity, requested that the government offer greater assistance to residents throughout the winter period, in addition to subsidies by the government for households with the lowest incomes.
Military preferred over residents
The surging energy crisis has left UK residents choosing between food and heating, as people pay over 10% of their total income on fuel.
"This winter we are expecting around seven million households right across the UK to be in fuel poverty," added Francis, continuing, "So that means they don't have enough money to keep their homes warm to an acceptable standard."
Despite the fact that people are having to choose between basic rights to survive, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week asserted that military aid to Ukraine will continue. It also sent over 1,000 metal detectors and 100 bomb de-activating kits to Ukraine in the most recent latest military aid package in 2022.
It is worth noting that the UK is one of the largest suppliers of military aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the war.