Even without the 50 per cent or so rise in gas prices now in place, there were too many families who were “just about managing”, to recycle a fashionable political phrase from a few years ago. They’re finding it even more difficult to manage now. The only way many households will manage to get by is by cutting back on food spending – and reducing their usage of gas and electricity at home.
It is, for some, not even so much a choice between eating or heating but sometimes being unable to afford either. We may be sure that poverty will rise, as a result of these global trends in commodity prices – but also because of the bad choices the government is making, such as the abolition of the £20 weekly uplift in universal credit.
Some families will also go into debt, many through desperation – and some in the hope that the cost of living crisis will eventually pass, and prices for essentials such as gas, food and petrol may even come down. Perhaps. But, before then, there is every indication that inflation will accelerate, that there will be a further substantial hike in energy bills in the autumn, and that interest rates and thus mortgage repayments will also steadily climb higher.
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