Mum’s despair at paying £50 a day for electricity after price hike

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Mary Quinn is being driven into debt and has called on her local authority and Scottish Power, her energy provider, for more help. The 52-year-old woman joined other tenants at a protest on Saturday against rises in energy costs. A series of hikes in past few years has left tenants in Falkirk, Scotland, facing bills that even those in full-time work struggle to pay.

And Mary now forks out £1,500 a month for power, heating and hot water – including £50 a day on electricity – after the latest increase.

Speaking to Daily Record, she said: “Since October, I have been paying £50 a day – I am just so stressed, I go to bed at night and I don’t want to wake up.

“I just can’t handle it anymore.

“I don’t have any other debt – the debt I have is because most of my wages go on electricity.”

The mum of two, who had a brain aneurysm recently and has kidney problems, works seven days a week in a bookmakers and a bar just to make ends meet.

She wants Falkirk Council to do more to help her and hundreds of other struggling tenants.

I am just so stressed, I go to bed at night and I don’t want to wake up

Mary Quinn

Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages campaign protested against the council headquarters.

Falkirk Council has agreed to install gas in many of the areas affected but Mary lives in a three-bedroom house in South Alloa, a tiny village, where her boiler is not suitable.

The council has promised she will get a new electric heating system.

Mary’s house has even been measured – but with no firm date set to install the new system, she says that the amount she is spending on electricity right now is driving her into debt.

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The mum added: “When I spoke to Scottish Power they told me I should do my washing after 11pm, then asked if I had a tumble drier or a hot tub?

“I said ‘don’t be silly – I don’t even have a television.'”

The campaign organiser, Claire Mackie, says Falkirk Council must do more to help those affected.

She said: “Poor decisions by Falkirk Council have impacted people’s lives to the point that they can’t feed their families.

“We can’t go on like this – we need action now, we need financial support and we need them to take accountability.”

A ScottishPower spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry to hear of the stress Ms Quinn has been facing. As soon as these heating systems, installed by Falkirk Council, are replaced the better it will be for the residents like Ms Quinn.

“Ms Quinn’s energy usage has increased slightly compared to last year, this, coupled with the significant increase in energy costs being seen across the UK has resulted in the higher bills she is experiencing.”

Falkirk Council, led by the Scottish National Party, spokesperson said: “A Housing Officer will contact Mrs Quinn to discuss her situation and provide details of any benefits and support available to help with her energy costs.”

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