Today marks another milestone on the British public’s long march into fuel poverty, with Ofgem’s announcement of a huge rise in the energy price cap. Since milestones are not unique, but a chain of markers along a route, there are further price hikes ahead. Cornwall Insight has forecast a rise above £4,000 in January and an increase to £5,341 next April.

That is a far cry from the level of £1,971 set last April. When authoritative bodies such as Ofgem announce increased financial impositions, the longstanding attitude of the British public is to tighten its belt and address the challenge of paying. But this time things are different. Many householders know they cannot pay, at least not without upsetting their entire domestic economy, to the detriment of essential items such as food bills.