Joseph Rowntree Foundation responds to latest ONS inflation figures

17 Aug 2022 10:05 AM

Rebecca McDonal­­d, Chief Economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, responded to new inflation figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today

“Inflation, which has risen to 10.1­­% today, is eating away at people’s pay and leaving millions adrift in a cost of living crisis. No one can disagree this is a national emergency. Today’s sobering reading means the next few months will be profoundly more difficult for low income families, almost certainly experiencing a higher degree of inflation themselves.

“People are looking for a sign that help is on the way. Yet the government doesn’t seem to have grasped the full scale and urgency of this situation.

"Energy bills for low-income households are expected to be £1,800 higher this year than last, and other costs such as food are expected to rise by £1,000 at the same period. That’s why JRF and 70 other charities called on the UK’s next Prime Minister to pledge that the £1,200 in core support to households on means-tested benefits should be at least doubled.

“It’s not just rising energy bills that are squeezing low-income families. Food prices have risen by 12.6% over the last year. So while today’s double digit analysis may come as a shock, it’s no surprise to people who can’t afford the same essentials they could a year ago.

“Planning for a substantial support package, at least double what’s been offered, needs to start immediately. Without one, vulnerable people will face a catastrophe on a vast scale when winter sets in.”

Consumer price inflation, UK: July 2022