Gas prices in the UK have quadrupled since summer 2021 (BEIS, 2022), and with the planned price hikes, the average annual bill is expected to reach £3,000 ($3,650), leaving 8.5 million British households in fuel poverty (End Fuel Poverty Coalition, 2022). Inflation-weary consumers are turning to activism to prevent the upcoming price surge.
The Don’t Pay campaign relies on mass cooperation to protect participants and ensure a significant impact. Organisers say the payment strike will only go ahead if it reaches one million pledges. In the run-up, Don’t Pay is encouraging people to spread the word, hand out flyers (available to print or purchase), and seek donations to amplify the movement.
British citizens have already called upon mass non-payment in the past, when 17 million people refused to pay the poll tax in the late 80s and 90s, leading to the government pulling back the measure. Don’t Pay is aiming to draw on the same technique to push the parliament to reduce energy bills to an affordable level.
Consumers are already adjusting their personal habits to withstand inflation (see The Brief). The rise of such a movement also signals that people are leveraging collective action to improve their financial situations, mirroring the uptick in social engagement and activism amongst younger consumers outlined in Gen Proactive.
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