I have just sent this to Maathew Bateman, managing Director of British Gas :
Dear Matthew Bateman
I am writing to you as a registered independent social worker specialist in child protection.
I wish to inform you that the current pricing policies of British Gas along with the other energy suppliers within the UK are I believe knowingly putting families and therefore children into poverty.
By doing this you are deliberately placing children at significant risk of harm, chiefly but not solely in regard to issues relating to neglect and emotional harm.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs identifies that people – children have basic needs that must be met. The basic needs include food, water, clothing and shelter. Heating is included in shelter, as is lighting.
The pricing for poorer families is not sustainable and means that many families using prepay meters are now being cut off from gas and electric as they cannot afford to pay your prices and feed their children.
Today i have spoken to a mother who has been starving herself to feed her kids for over a week and put £15 on her meter yesterday to have no fuel left today. She is a British Gas customer with 4 children.
She works part time and has to rely on tax credits as a top up.
Maslow also identifies needs of safety that includes financial safety. This is removed in a large part from poorer families and individuals (a person can live alone at 16 but be recognised as a child until 21 or even older under UK legislation) due to your pricing.
I could go on listing all of the basic and higher needs of children being detrimentally effected by the current energy crisis and the part you are playing within it.
I understand you have a duty to your shareholders to make as much profit as possible, however you have a legal and moral duty of care to every child, disabled and yes abled person within the UK.
I suggest you are failing with this.
I therefore plead with you to take immediate action to ensure families are lifted from the poverty caused by the pricing policy of British Gas, and hope other companies will follow suit.