Nine in 10 adults reported a rise in their cost of living even before the energy price cap was hiked and national insurance increased this month.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 87 per cent of adults said they’d seen an increase in their monthly cost of living between March 16 to March 27. That’s up from 6 in 10 (62 per cent) adults in the first two weeks of November.
Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of adults said it was “very difficult” or “difficult” to pay their usual household bills compared to a year ago.
The price of food shopping was found by the ONS to be the most common reason cited for the increased cost of living, followed by gas or electricity bills, and the price of fuel.
Inflation rose by 7 per cent in March 2022, but with average wages rising at an annual rate of 4.8 per cent from November 2021 to January 2022, pay is not keeping up with soaring costs.
“The combination of shrinking pay packets and rising costs means that the pressure on households is building, with lower-income families set to feel the squeeze the most,” said Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation.