People are having to steal soap, a pensioner is riding buses all day to keep warm and millions of parents are struggling to feed their children. Meanwhile, the politician in charge of offering support to them has been named on the Sunday Times Rich List.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has become the first frontline politician to appear on the annual list, which celebrates the wealthiest people in society.
This year, the top 250 richest people on it have amassed more wealth than the entire 1,000 entries that appeared on the 2017 version.
Sunak, and his wife Akshata Murty, appear at number 222 on the list with a combined wealth estimated at £730 million. It comes as Sunak is facing increasing pressure to offer support to struggling households amid the worst cost of living crisis the UK has seen for decades. Critics say the Treasury has so far failed to help the very poorest.
This week there has been discussions about whether police should show discretion if someone is caught stealing food. A police chief was supportive of the idea, but policing minister Kit Malthouse was not.
George Dibbs of think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said the list demonstrated the need to “redistribute the wealth gains of the richest to pay for higher social security benefits for those who most need them”.