The head of the Church of England, himself a former oil executive, insisted that the Big Six companies have a moral obligation to the public, and said he understood the public anger about the rises.
“The impact on people, particularly on low incomes, is going to be really severe in this, and the companies have to justify fully what they are doing,” Mr Welby said.
I know what it is like when your household budget is blown apart by a significant extra fuel bill and your anxiety levels become very high – Archbishop
“I do understand when people feel that this is inexplicable, and I can understand people being angry about it, because having spent years on a low income as a clergyman I know what it is like when your household budget is blown apart by a significant extra fuel bill and your anxiety levels become very high. That is the reality of it.”
The Archbishop urged firms to be “conscious of their social obligations”, saying they had to “behave with generosity and not merely to maximise opportunity”.
“They have control because they sell something everyone has to buy. We have no choice about buying it,” he told the Mail on Sunday. ‘With that amount of power comes huge responsibility to serve society.”