Daily Mirror

Low-income homes unable to cut back

- JACK LESLIE Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation

FAMILIES across the UK are experienci­ng a cost of living crisis, with average prices rising at their fastest rate in 30 years – far faster than wages.

But families do not all experience inflation in the same way, official figures only tell part of the story.

Low-income people are always most affected by rises because, if you are only just making ends meet and your costs rise, there is no spending to cut back without affecting your living standards.

The poorest households spend three times the percentage of income on fuel and electricit­y as the richest and bills are expected to rise in April.

At the same time, there is evidence that the price of “value” products at supermarke­ts is rising faster than typical supermarke­t items, and that the availabili­ty of these items is becoming scarcer.

Jack Monroe, the food writer, has started a campaign for statistics to better represent the rising cost of food for the poorest. But we currently don’t have good data on how low-income families are experienci­ng food price inflation.

Regardless, we do know that the decision of turning on the heating or putting food on the table – something that many take for granted – is becoming a source of financial stress.

This should not be happening to anyone in a rich country like Britain. The Government needs to focus its response on low-income families.

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