Nurse with cancer says energy and mortgage bills are 'crippling' as she fears for the future

A nurse from Neath, who has stage three breast cancer says her energy and mortgage bills are "crippling" and is having to rely on friends and her local church to stay afloat.

Kerry George was diagnosed with cancer at the end of June and is currently undergoing three months of intense chemotherapy.

She said she is exhausted and the pressure of worrying about her finances and the cost of living is not helping her situation.

"It's hard because I want to concentrate on getting better and not having to worry about if I can afford to keep the heating on tonight," she said.

"I'm trying not to have my heating on but I have had it on because I'm not moving about because of my illness, I'm so lethargic most days.

"It's going over £150 a week and there's no way that I can afford that."

Kerry had hoped to continue working as a nurse whilst having her chemotherapy but doctors have told her it's too dangerous with her immune system being so low.

Being unable to work means she's got very limited funds coming in and she cannot access the UK Government's Personal Independent Payment. She was declined on the grounds that she has not been ill for three months or more.

In response to her situation, friends set up a Go Fund Me Page and Kerry said if she didn't have that, she doesn't know how she would have managed.

She said: "The energy bills are crippling at the moment and I know Liz Truss has done something to help but it's just not nearly enough.

"It's still double from what it is last year and I just don't see how anyone's going to manage."

On the issue of her mortgage, Kerry said the situation is really frightening. Like many she is currently on a variable rate.

"It's gone up by about £50 already," she said.

"I know it's going to go up more and I'm really quite scared of that, I'm really quite scared of losing my home. I dread what's going to happen with this mortgage crisis."

She said she's now cutting back on things like her food shopping and has turned off the lights at home.

People across the UK are being advised to submit meter readings ahead of the increase in gas and electricity prices on Saturday 1 October, as average household energy bills are expected to go up by more than a quarter.

The UK Government's energy price guarantee has capped the amount consumers can be charged per unit of energy, but the total amount people pay will still depend on how much gas or electricity they use.

The average household energy bill will rise from £1,971 to a frozen £2,500 under the energy price guarantee. This is an increase of 27% from the previous price cap, which limited the rate providers can charge customers on a standard variable tariff.

Households will receive a non-repayable £400 payment from the Government as part of the cost-of-living support package, paid directly to energy accounts over six months in installments of £66 and £67.

But overall, household bills will still be 96% higher than last year.