Consumers are cutting back on essentials such as food in order to afford their winter energy bills, it has been claimed.
According to Consumer Focus, more than four out of ten people have had to cut back to cope with large winter gas and electricity bills.
The consumer watchdog claims that two-thirds of people have been caught out by bigger than expected energy bills, while 59 per cent think the recent price cuts announced by energy firms are "paltry" and will make little or no difference to their monthly outgoings.
The poorest consumers are suffering the most and Consumer Focus has called on MPs to do more to address fuel poverty.
Jonathan Stearn, energy expert at the watchdog, said: "It is disgraceful that huge winter energy bills are causing such misery for so many of the most vulnerable families, pensioners and disabled people."
Consumer Focus has also criticised the government's Digital Britain Interim Report, which it claims is grounded in the past.
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