A civil disobedience campaign urges not to pay electricity and gas bills in the UK

The organization 'Don't Pay UK' has launched a campaign of civil disobedience to urge the population not to pay their electricity and gas bills due to the constant increase in the amount, which could triple in October.

The group aspires to put companies in "serious trouble." "We want to bring them to the dialogue table and force them to end this crisis," they say on their website.

From the Government they have already condemned the initiative, and described as "very irresponsible" because "it will only cause an increase in prices and will affect the personal credit rating", according to an official spokesman quoted by the newspaper 'The Guardian'.

In addition, they have stressed that "no government can control the global price of gas", although "we are providing aid for 37,000 million pounds for households, including 400 pounds of discount on energy bills and 1,200 pounds of direct help to the most vulnerable households to alleviate the increase in prices", he argued.

Everything indicates that there will be demonstrations once the summer is over, but they will not be limited to the traditional means of protest and other methods such as non-payment of bills could have a certain echo.

On 1 October the energy cost ceiling is due to be raised in England, Scotland and Wales, causing bill increases for millions of users. The sum of the usual gas and electricity bills could reach £3,358 year-on-year in October, according to consultancy Cornwall Insight, almost triple the £1,400 in October 2021.

The consequence is that many households will have to save on food or other essential expenses in order to pay these bills. "It's terrible, especially with three teenagers at home," lamented a housewife, Josina, quoted by 'The Guardian'.

That is why he has decided not to pay the energy bills, like thousands of activists who have already joined the campaign of civil disobedience despite the risks such as increased debts, extra charges or, in extreme cases, the cut of the supply. For Josina, "she is the only option" and that is why she is on the street handing out campaign pamphlets that are received in a "very positive" way.

“People are angry and scared. Millions of people in this country will be plunged into poverty this winter and strike action is the only way to respond. It is not an option to be taken lightly. I would prefer not to have to do this, but it is the only option I have », she has argued.

'Don't Pay UK' began operating in June and ensures that it has more than 75,000 adherents to its campaign of refusal to pay the bills that it will launch if the Government does not take "drastic" measures.

According to the group, it has more than 21,000 activists “from all walks of life” who are organizing in their communities in cities such as Bristol, Brighton, Manchester or London using Telegram network channels to coordinate the distribution of pamphlets and raise awareness. So far they claim to have distributed more than 1.6 million pamphlets.

The organizers remain anonymous for fear of possible reprisals, but they assure that they are just a group of friends from whom the idea arose after "convinced of the need to do something about the increase in the cost of living."

Possible defaults in Germany

Meanwhile, from the German Tenants Association they have warned that millions of households will not be able to pay their heating bills due to the dizzying rise in gas prices. "There are many, we are talking about millions," warned the president of the association, Lukas Siebenkotten, in statements published by the newspaper 'Tagesspiegel'. Most of all, he said, people just above the state aid level are affected.

“The income limits of people who can apply for housing subsidy should be significantly increased,” Siebenkotten pointed out, who even proposes increasing it to 5,000 euros of monthly net income per household.

In addition, an annual subsidy for heating should be incorporated into the housing aid. Siebenkotten has also argued that tenants, who cannot afford high energy costs, be protected against possible cancellation of the lease and receive a two-year debt moratorium.

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