The squeeze on families amplified as inflation crept up to another near 30 year high, with more despair to come.
The headline CPI rate nudged up to 5.5 per cent in January from 5.4 per cent the previous month, with clothing and footwear costs adding to the burden.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he’d been listening and understood the pressure on households. Inflation hasn’t been higher since the 7.1 per cent recorded for March 1992, but there are no signs that ministers are thinking again on the swingeing £12 billion national insurance increase expected in April, at the same time as energy bills are set to soar 50 per cent.
The revered IFS think-tank cautioned that almost all that revenue was likely to be swallowed up by soaring debt interest payments. They said with RPI inflation at 7.8 per cent, servicing the UK’s £1.2 trillion debt mountain could cost £69 billion this year rather than the £58 billion forecast at the Budget.
The ONS said the cost of clothes and footwear pushed inflation higher last month, with the lowest January discounts in shops since 1990.
However, inflation is soaring across the economy, driving CPI up to more than double the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target.
Increasing energy costs and fuel prices have been the most significant factors in pushing inflation up to nearly 30-year highs, though food and drink prices and numerous daily essentials have also been on the rise.
The Bank hiked interest rates earlier this month to 0.5 per cent in the first back to back increase since 2004, signalling more are on the way as it looks to rein in rampant inflation.
It forecasted that inflation will soar further due to painful energy price rises before peaking at 7.25 per cent in April, the highest level since August 1991.
Rishi Sunak said that they understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, but that these were global challenges, and they have listened to people’s concerns and recently stepped in to provide millions of households with up to £350 to help with increasing energy bills.
He said they were also helping people on the lowest incomes keep more of what they earn by cutting the Universal Credit taper rate and freezing alcohol and fuel duties to keep costs down, and that in total they were delivering support with the cost of living worth over £20 billion across this financial year and next.
Rishi Sunak is married to one of the richest people in the world and is Chancellor of one of the most important positions in British politics, and the 41-year-old multi-millionaire lives a luxurious lifestyle, owning several homes with his mega-rich wife. This man has no affinity for the concerns of ordinary working people in England because he has no concept whatsoever of what it’s like to struggle and be on the poverty line.
And in other news, the United Kingdom spends 4.7 million a day accommodating dingy arrivals in hotels.
No politician has any idea about the struggles of its UK residents.
However, the money has to come from somewhere to pay for this astronomical national debt, but it’s definitely not going to come from the likes of bankers and the wealthy.
How on earth can one of Britain’s wealthiest men comprehend the struggles families are currently enduring – this man should go!
Rishi Sunak keeps saying he understands. However, being a millionaire has no impact on him.