‘Costa’ Living Crisis

NOTE: Throwback to November 2022.

Funny title? Surely it’s a piece of satire. Sadly, not.
A landlord interviewed by Politics Joe had the following to say:

“Buy less Costa coffees, go on less holidays, and not go out for dinner so often and then they’ll be able to pay their electricity bill.”

If you require video evidence of this, well – you’re in luck:

This man is a landlord, most likely over 55, who is likely to be part of the 48% of landlords with five or more properties. Potentially part of the 33% of landlords who are retired with their own home(s) secured.

Earning a MINIMUM of £15,000 before tax on properties in London and south-east England.
So, please, Mr Landlord – explain how not drinking a Costa coffee, not having a meal with family, and not going on holiday made you rich. Because, last time I checked, I’ve not been on holiday since 2019; I’ve not had a Costa coffee since 2018, and I’ve not been out for a meal since Mother’s Day 2016 – and, not only am I not able to pay my electric bill, I’m also unable to pay rent and buy food.

The sheer audacity of the elite, the middle classes, and the older generations frowning upon the sick and the poor for wanting nice things every once in a while, while they sit in their ivory towers burning £5 notes while the rest of the UK is looking at potential energy and gas blackouts.

Of course, they’re not actually burning £5 notes. Most are perfectly insulated in ivy-wrapped houses, electrical heating via solar power, or are using wood/coal burners… Yes, someone tried to say that you don’t need central heating because there are other “solutions” while sitting in front of a wood burner… Some give tips like “wrap up” as if that has never occurred to anyone.

As someone who went through four winters in a row without a functional boiler, I can say this: 

  • Wipe away condensation – personally, I regularly have my window open in winter for this reason. It’s cold outside and cold inside, and the condensation brings more of the cold in. It also causes moisture to get places you do not want it to go. Make sure to get rid of it, wipe it away, whatever you need to do.
  • Invest in a heated blanket or electric heater – you can get them cheap. You can turn it on for a few hours before bedtime; it will keep your room nice and warm while you sleep.
  • Keep doors shut. If you’ve had your dryer on or used a hairdryer, straighteners, or anything that produces heat – close doors to channel the hot air where you want it to go. Electric heater in your bedroom? Close the bedroom door to trap in the heat.

All of this is much easier said than done; it’s a genuine nightmare to consider sleeping in -10c weather when camping, let alone when you’re at home, where you’re supposed to be safe and warm.

If you’re in this situation this year, I hope you know that you’re not alone. 

And in saying that, I hope you’re also aware that the people to be angry at for this are the government, the elite, and the rich.

Don’t fall for their “immigration” media tactics, and don’t believe what they say about people on benefits… I can almost guarantee that Benefit Street, or something like it, will be on TV in the coming months to make the working class hate people on welfare… Even though 40% of claimants are in work.

“Why are they on benefits if they’re working?”

Because zero-hour contracts are still legal in the UK, over 1 million employees are on zero-hour contracts.

“[Zero-Hour Contracts] What does this mean?”

A zero-hour contract is a work obligation that has to pay at least the minimum wage in the UK and has to provide all employees the legal, statutory holiday days.

However, it’s not a minimum-wage job. 

The loophole is that they can call you in or not have you in to prevent you from having more rights, benefits, and reduces taxes for the company. They are not obligated to shift you.

Some companies have even started putting a clause into zero-hour contracts stating that employees cannot work elsewhere while working for them and aren’t allowed to look for additional/alternative work.

Thankfully, that clause is against UK rules, so while they can put it in – we don’t have to abide by it. It doesn’t make getting any extra hours easier, though.

So, why are so many claimants working but not getting enough? Start with zero-hour contracts. How would you pay your bills if you worked eight hours a month simply because the company didn’t want to have you down as a full-time or part-time worker?

Eight hours of work, £9.50 an hour – for the WHOLE month. 

But there are no other jobs in the area you live in…

“Why not just move?”

With average house moving costs around £1000 – £5000, and higher rent prices in most lively areas of the country, how do you expect them to move to find better work when they can’t afford their £500 a month electricity bill?

“Stop drinking Costa coffee”.

If your solution to people not being able to afford to live is to tell them to:

  • Cut a luxury out of their day: e.g. Costa. If we say a Costa is £5, and you have one a day during the week at work, that’s £25 / £100. Which wouldn’t touch the sides of the electricity bills that most of the UK is currently facing.
  • Get rid of Netflix: maximum saving of £15.99 a month. Congratulations – at that rate, you’ll be able to buy a house requiring a 10k profit in 52 years!
  • Stop having meals out or having takeaways: it is almost costing people more to cook due to energy costs than it is to buy food from out. And let’s not forget the disabled people;e, like myself, who cannot always cook for ourselves.
  • Find a better job – in a recession where people are being let go, and most jobs are looking for degree-level educated employees… to drive forklifts…
  • Move to a better location to find a better job – move from a place that is barely affordable to an area that is completely unaffordable in the hopes of getting a minimum wage job that will probably only last three months because nowhere takes on permanently now.
  • Move to another location – yes, I’ve had to list this one twice because of the level of audacity. The concept that everyone can pick up and move is beyond ridiculous. Firstly, school seats are hard to come by now, so moving and uprooting kids isn’t smart. Secondly, most people don’t have the money to move. If they cannot afford their bills, how do you expect them to afford to move house? Thirdly, Ableism – try and find a house or flat that is wheelchair-accessible or disability friendly. I can guarantee you that you will only find properties in shared housing for students or buildings for over 55s [yes, they exist]. So, before telling someone to move for a “better life”, DON’T.

If the solution costs them more than one month’s rent or a month’s electricity bill, don’t suggest it because it will not help in any form.

People like this landlord need to keep their traps shut before the UK follows in France’s steps and brings back the guillotine. 



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