Advertisement
Social Justice

9 in 10 people say their cost of living had already increased before bills went up in April

New ONS figures show the scale of the cost of living crisis in the UK.

Nine in 10 adults reported a rise in their cost of living even before the energy price cap was hiked and national insurance increased this month.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 87 per cent of adults said they’d seen an increase in their monthly cost of living between March 16 to March 27. That’s up from 6 in 10 (62 per cent) adults in the first two weeks of November.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of adults said it was “very difficult” or “difficult” to pay their usual household bills compared to a year ago.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

The price of food shopping was found by the ONS to be the most common reason cited for the increased cost of living, followed by gas or electricity bills, and the price of fuel.

Inflation rose by 7 per cent in March 2022, but with average wages rising at an annual rate of 4.8 per cent from November 2021 to January 2022, pay is not keeping up with soaring costs

“The combination of shrinking pay packets and rising costs means that the pressure on households is building, with lower-income families set to feel the squeeze the most,” said Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Over a third of the most deprived households in England are already saying it has been difficult or very difficult to pay their usual bills, and “this is set to get worse, with the estimated number of households experiencing fuel stress hitting five million this month,” he continued.

The Foundation is calling on the government to prioritise increasing support for low-income households, who will be hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.

Stop Mass Homelessness

Help us stop mass homelessness

Unless we act, the UK is facing a homelessness crisis 
this autumn.

The energy price cap was raised by 54 per cent on April 1, meaning that some families face paying an extra £700 per year on gas and electricity. Energy bosses from E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Centrica have admitted that the volume of calls from customers worried about energy bills has placed immense pressure on the companies. 

At the same time, controversial reforms to England’s social care system saw a 1.25 percentage points rise in national insurance contributions rolled out across the UK. 

A third of renters said that their rent had increased in the last six months, compared with almost one in five home-owners who reported increased mortgage payments.

Increasing costs are pushing people into higher debt, with 17 per cent reporting borrowing more money or using more credit than they did a year ago, the ONS has found.

Many are finding it increasingly difficult to put aside savings, with 43 per cent of people reporting that they would not be able to save any money in the next 12 months – the highest this percentage has been since the ONS first asked this question in March 2020. 

Advertisement

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
At least £32bn of tax went unpaid last year amid cost of living crisis
Cost of living

At least £32bn of tax went unpaid last year amid cost of living crisis

Campaigners call for a million people to cancel their energy bills if government refuses to act
Cost of living

Campaigners call for a million people to cancel their energy bills if government refuses to act

More than eight million families to get new cost of living payment in July
Cost of living

More than eight million families to get new cost of living payment in July

Windrush monument receives mixed reception as 3 in 4 victims are still waiting for compensation
Windrush Day

Windrush monument receives mixed reception as 3 in 4 victims are still waiting for compensation

Most Popular

Read All
Thousands march in London to protest low pay and rising cost of living
1.

Thousands march in London to protest low pay and rising cost of living

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'
2.

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'

Margaret Beckett: 'People think Boris Johnson would be a good laugh in the pub. He'd be late and not get a round in'
3.

Margaret Beckett: 'People think Boris Johnson would be a good laugh in the pub. He'd be late and not get a round in'

What really happened when Prince William sold The Big Issue
4.

What really happened when Prince William sold The Big Issue

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.