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C of E vicar joins campaign encouraging people not to pay energy bills ahead of price rise

by Kelly Valencia
Don't Pay Campaign 1.PNG - Banner image
Don't Pay Campaign

A Church of England curate has joined the Don't Pay UK campaign, an initiative encouraging people to cancel their energy bill direct debits. 

That is if the government ignores their call for a reduction in energy bills to "an affordable level."

It's in protest to the energy price rise expected at the beginning of October. 

"Members of the Church of England are not traditionally known for taking a direct-action approach to political or social crises," Rev Mo Budd told The Times newspaper.

"You're more likely to find us in our local communities, volunteering at the food bank or the night shelter. However, the scale of the cost of living crisis demands a different response."

On Tuesday consultancy Cornwall Insight warned our energy bills could hit over £4,000 in January - a rise of £650 for households in England, Scotland and Wales compared with its estimate last week.

The consultancy cited energy regulator Ofgem's decision to change the price cap every three months instead of six.

Cornwall is also warning that a typical annual household bill could potentially be reaching £3,582 from October.

Rev Budd continued: "None of us want to break the law or get into trouble with our energy providers. But if we do nothing, vast numbers of people will have no choice but to default on their energy bills because they simply cannot pay them. 

"As a person of faith, it is my duty to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable in my community."

The 35-year-old is one of the 75,000 people who have already signed up to the initiative. They have been campaigning across the country for six weeks. 

The government has called the campaign "irresponsible." 

Niall Cooper, director of Church Action on Poverty told Premier Christian News he understands why the campaigning is gaining so much attention but warned of the possible consequences. 

"I think we are at a point where it's so extreme, that measures like this need to be considered," he said. 

"We're not as a charity - backing the campaign - but I would perfectly understand if people do sign up to the campaign. I think something of this magnitude needs to happen to wake up the country, to wake up politicians, this is an emergency - like we had two years ago with Covid.

"But I would say, if you do that read up, get advice. Make sure you do because the last thing I would want people to do, is to go into depths, that then would create other problems for them," Cooper continued.
The campaign is hoping to reach 1 million people by October. 

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