The 2-page handout

The reading

The cost of living crisis is hitting people's pockets hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made basic necessities like food, heating and transport unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been over the shocking dilemma of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than doubled this year for many consumers, resulting in those on low incomes or on benefits facing the choice of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will be exacerbated by rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come into effect next week.

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown lambasted the man responsible for controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this poverty.…You cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and feeding their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the ruling Conservative Party will be known as the "nasty" party. Further price hikes and food shortages are on the horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government critics are calling for a one-off "windfall tax" on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.



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