Soaring energy bills are a national emergency on the scale of the Covid pandemic, Martin Lewis has warned.
The consumer champion issued the stark warning amid growing calls for the Tories to offer more support for flailing households.
Energy regulator Ofgem is set to announce the new energy price cap in just a fortnight, with experts predicting it could raise an average £1,971-a-year dual fuel standard tariff by 82 per cent – to £3,582.
It come as consultants Cornwall Insight this week predicted that the cap will jump to an average £4,266 in January – then £4,426 next April.
Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert founder, hit out at the suggestion that no new help can be agreed for Brits until a new prime minister is in place.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “That is complete bull. That is simply not true.
“What we’re facing here is a financial emergency that risks lives.”
And he told the BBC’s Today programme: “It’s a national crisis on the scale of the pandemic.”
Addressing Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss’s pledge to enact tax cuts, Lewis said it would “not help the millions of the poorest in society who are making the choice between heating and eating because they don’t pay tax”.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will press gas and electricity company executives for solutions to the predicted spike in bills over winter on Thursday.
Executives are being asked to submit a breakdown of expected profits and payouts, as well as investment plans for the next three years.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown has suggested scrapping the price cap and negotiating lower rates with energy bosses, according to reports.
Rishi Sunak and Truss continue to face questions about what they will do to help struggling families, while Labour has called for a “loophole” in the oil and gas windfall tax to be closed to raise more support cash.
Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Zahawi told reporters: “I think it’s important we all get round the table, I will continue to do the work I need to do as Chancellor, but I also want to challenge them, to say are you making the investment? How can you help your customers? What more can we do together? That’s the reason for the meeting.”
Speaking in Belfast on Wednesday, he added: “What I want to do tomorrow is understand better how they’re committed to that investment in gas, because whatever happens we need energy security and we’ve got a strong strategy that Kwasi and I will continue to push hard.
“The other area I want to look at is some of the energy producers, if you look at the renewable energy producers, the amount that they get paid is linked to gas prices.
“So, they haven’t changed anything they’re doing, they haven’t had any increase in their input costs at all, but they’re getting a much higher return because of the unusually high gas price because of Putin.”