5-speed listening (Warm Banks - Level 4)

'Warm banks' spread in UK as heating costs rise






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The UK is a wealthy country, but people cannot pay energy bills. Electricity and gas bills could rise fourfold this year. Even well paid people are struggling. Lower-paid workers are faced with a stark choice of heating or eating. Many towns are converting libraries into spaces where people can stay warm for free. These are called "heat banks". A UK money-saving expert cannot understand why his country needs warm banks. The UK has hundreds of food banks.

Britons are taking drastic measures. One woman turned off her fridge and is keeping her food in cold water. A man switched off his electric kettle and is drinking cold water. Last winter, a lady sat on a bus all day instead of sitting at home in the cold. People are angry about the record profits oil companies are making. The government is reluctant to tax these. Each year in the UK, cold weather kills around 11,400 people. This figure will increase this year.

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