This Friday customers are expected to learn the energy price cap will rise to a scary £3,500-plus per year from October.

Inflation (RPI) is running at 12.3 per cent with predictions it could rise to 23 per cent next January.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, the Tory leadership beauty contest marches on without the beauty.

As millions worry about how to pay their bills, Truss and Sunak try to out promise each other over cuts to the taxes their Government raised 15 times to the highest level in 70 years.

However, Labour has responded to the cost-of-living emergency. We would freeze the energy cap at its current level to support struggling families in Northwich and beyond.

The gap would be funded by extending the windfall tax on the oil and gas giants that we suggested, and the Tories eventually adopted under a different name.

I would go even further by creating a not-for-profit, publicly owned energy company.

Contrast what’s happening in the UK with France where President Macron has told state-owned EDF it can only increase bills by just four per cent. Yet EDF customers in this country could see energy bills rise by up to 82 per cent!

If energy was publicly owned here, government could take a similar approach to the French.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates nationalising the ‘big five’ energy retail companies would cost £2.85 billion.

That might be a huge sum but the government has already spent £2.7 billion over the past year bailing out failed private energy firms, including £2.2 billion for just one firm alone – Bulb.

I believe in public ownership as part of a mixed economy. Leaving aside the politics, it’s sensible with sectors like education, health, the railways and the public utilities.

Take our water – a basic necessity of life.

Droughts like the current one are likely to become more frequent. But what is being done to prevent three billion litres leaking out of the system every day?

At the same time, sewage continues to spew into our seas and rivers, like the Weaver and Dane, as Victorian drainage systems struggle to cope.

In the 30 years since privatisation there has been chronic underinvestment yet the prices we pay have sky-rocketed in line with profits and bosses’ bonuses.

Under a future Labour government, I would be arguing for public ownership to be expanded where appropriate and affordable. It just makes sense.