I’m so poor I can’t afford to make a cup of TEA & I haven’t had the heating on since Xmas… I wake up crying each day

A DISABLED gran says she only makes one cup of tea a day and hasn’t had her heating on since Christmas as she has been so badly hit by the cost of living crisis. 

Rita, 58, lives by candlelight in her three bedroom home in Medway, Kent, and has removed every light bulb in her home to save money. 

The mum-of-two is terrified that she will be made homeless with her autistic son, 23, if bills continue to rise. 

She struggles with complex PTSD alongside other medical conditions, and is a full-time carer for her son. 

Rita says she gets up at 5am to do her housework to make the most of the Economy 7 cheap off-peak electricity since prices skyrocketed on April 1. 

Her rent has risen by £400, and she claims her electricity has gone from £78 to £249 a month. 


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She has slammed the Government, saying that they have forgotten about those at "the bottom of the financial ladder" and says she feels like a "leftover".

Rita told KentOnline: "I remember we were driving somewhere when the pandemic first started.

"We went past Canterbury Street and we saw the queue for the Gillingham Street Angels.

"I said, 'poor people'. I'm one of them people now. I never thought that would be me.

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"I remember the 70s when there was a three day week, there were strikes, there was an energy crisis, you'd have power cuts, but only one parent needed to go to work to support a family.

"You had school dinners. You had a bottle of milk at school. People were all in it together but it doesn't seem to be like that now.

There is an us and a them – we are the bottom of the ladder. We are left. We're left with the leftovers. We are the nothing.

"I wake up crying and my heart's pounding. I'm constantly crying.

"I can't eat and even when I do manage dinner I'm often sick because of the anxiety."

The mum has also been forced to use a food bank for the first time in her life, and is replanting vegetables so that she gets to grow her own in future. 

I wake up crying and my heart's pounding. I'm constantly crying.

She makes one pot of tea in the morning and then microwaves each cup, claiming that it is cheaper than boiling a kettle. 

The family also have a dog and a cat adding to the costs, with Rita adding: "We are with the PDSA and you do still have to pay for treatment but it's not too expensive and luckily although they're both old, they're healthy.

"I've got nothing left to sell. I've sold everything.

"My son is autistic and doesn't go out much but the one thing he likes are his games. He would sell them all, everything he has.

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"The malnutrition that's going to affect the children in the future because they haven't had the nutrition that they need will affect their bodies in later life.

"It's going backwards.”

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