Diabetic man from County Durham forced to sell possessions at car boot sale to help pay energy bills

Despite the announcement of help by the Chancellor, Mr Lambert was continuing to sell his possessions at a car boot sale to help pay his bills. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A diabetic man from County Durham has been forced to sell some of his possessions at a car boot sale to help pay some of his bills as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Mark Lambert from West Cornforth first started to feel the pinch during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Now, he says the cost of living crisis and rising bills have forced him to sell his belongings to help make ends meet.

Mr Lambert has even been forced to sell his late mother's belongings and told ITV Tyne Tees he feels people have been abandoned in their hour of need.

Mark said: "I just feel that not only me but everyone else in the same situation has been let down by the Government.

"It is very tough at the moment. With the prices going up on everything like food and electric and gas, it's mostly electric and gas which has taken my money away.

"I am supposed to eat three times a day as I'm diabetic but I can only eat once a day to keep going."

Mark tells ITV News Tyne Tees about his financial struggles

It comes after the chancellor, Richmond MP Rishi Sunak, bowed to demands for the UK government to step in and help households to deal with ballooning energy bills and rising shop prices, which are being fuelled by 40-year-high inflation, by revealing an emergency package of extra cash for millions of people on Thursday.

Every household will receive a £400 energy bill discount while extra support was also unveiled for the lowest paid, pensioners and those with disabilities.

Mr Lambert feels more help is needed. He added: "I can't buy the luxury stuff, the stuff that I need I can't buy. The likes of toiletries I now have to buy the cheapest stuff just to keep myself from smelling. I've made a lot of sacrifices. Before this happened, I was doing okay, I was coping.

"During lockdown, I had to use my savings to keep me going. I only get paid when I work. If I don't work I don't get paid. If I can't keep up with my bills, I may end up on the streets and I think that is going to happen to a lot of people.

"In my eyes, the help from the Government is a temporary fix."

Reacting to the Prime Minister's interview with broadcasters on Friday, Mark Lambert says he feels abandoned by the Government. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Speaking during a visit to Stockton-on-Tees, the prime minister acknowledged there was a “bumpy time” ahead but said that the UK will be in a “much, much stronger position” as the pressure on global prices ease.

The Prime Minister said: "What we're doing now is making sure we support people through tough times as I've said we would.

"It is a big bazooka, it's £1,200 pounds for eight million homes across the country. £300 pounds extra for pensioners who are entitled to cold weather payments, another £150 pounds for people who are on disability benefit and of course putting more money into local government to help families who are finding things particularly tough."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson responds to Mark's situation

“I’m not going to pretend that this is going to fix everything for everybody immediately," the PM added.

“There is still going to be pressure but it is a very, very substantial commitment by the government to getting us through what will still be a bumpy time with the increase in energy prices around the world.

“What I think it will also help us to do is to get us through until I believe, the prices will start to abate and we will be in a much, much stronger position.”

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