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It’s official: renters and young people are hit hardest by cost of living, says ONS

Around 43 per cent of renters reported it was very or somewhat difficult to afford their housing costs, compared with 28 per cent of mortgage holders

Henry Saker-Clark
Friday 14 July 2023 17:05 BST
People aged between 25 and 34 are reported to be 3.4 times as likely to experience financial vulnerability as those aged 75 years and over
People aged between 25 and 34 are reported to be 3.4 times as likely to experience financial vulnerability as those aged 75 years and over (PA)

Renters and young people are among those hit hardest by the soaring cost of living, according to official data. Research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) outlined the groups under particular financial pressure in recent months amid rampant inflation and higher borrowing costs.

Inflation held firm at 8.7 per cent in May after striking a 41-year high late last year, while interest rates have been hiked to 5 per cent in an effort to drag prices lower.

The data showed that people in rental accommodation have struggled to afford their housing costs to a greater degree than homeowners, despite rising mortgage rates.

It said 43 per cent of renters had reported it was very or somewhat difficult to afford rent, compared with 28 per cent of mortgage holders.

The ONS said renters also had tighter budgets, as they were spending less on food and essentials but were also more likely to have run out of food and to have fallen behind on their energy bills.

People aged between 25 and 34 were reported to be 3.4 times as likely to experience financial vulnerability as those aged 75 years and over.

The data, which was collected over three months between February and May, showed that disabled adults were 1.9 times more likely to face hardship than those who are not disabled.

Single parents have also been hit particularly hard by price rises, with over a quarter (28 per cent) saying they had run out of food over the previous two weeks and could not afford more. That compared with 5 per cent across all adults.

The research also highlighted that more than half (53 per cent) of Asian or Asian British adults, and just under half of Black, African, Caribbean or Black British adults, said it was difficult to afford rent or mortgage payments.

David Ainslie from the ONS said: “Today’s analysis adds to our work identifying inequalities in society, and how certain groups have been more affected by the increased cost of living than others.

“We can see that renters were among those currently more likely to be experiencing financial vulnerability.

“Our findings also show that lone parents, disabled adults, and Black, African, Caribbean or Black British adults are among groups more likely to be finding their rent, mortgage and food costs difficult.”

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “These figures show that while most of us feel the cost of living squeeze in some way, women and children are the hardest hit.

“Single-parent households, overwhelmingly headed up by women, are struggling to make ends meet – with almost half (47 per cent) finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage and over a quarter reporting that they had run out of food and been unable to afford to buy more.”

PA

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