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As millions of homes face increased energy costs, prices are rising at their quickest pace in 40 years.
Inflation in the United Kingdom increased to 9% in the year to April from 7% in March. Last month, millions of households saw their energy expenses skyrocket by an astonishing £700 per year.
The cost of living is rising as a result of higher fuel and food prices, which are being driven up by the Ukraine conflict, with inflation anticipated to continue this year.
Citizens Advice said “the caution signs could not be stronger” for the government to provide greater assistance to homes, while debt charities urged anyone having trouble paying bills to seek help sooner rather than later in the year.
According to the Office for National Statistics, higher electricity and gas costs contributed around three quarters of the increase in inflation in April (ONS).
“These stats hide desperate situations,” said Citizens Advice CEO Dame Clare Moriarty. “Persons washing in their kitchen sinks because they can’t afford a hot shower; parents skipping meals to feed their children; disabled people unable to afford to use essential equipment due to rising energy costs.”
Cheryl Holmes, a mother of two, said she was attempting to keep her living expenses “as low as possible” by cutting back on food and clothing purchases and canceling television subscriptions.
“I’ve been turning off the lights in each room for several years, setting the heating on a timer, and making sure I’m using a full dishwasher and washing machine, and I’m out of ideas.”
“It’s a fight, and there doesn’t appear to be much more I can do.”
Last month, a new energy price cap went into effect, increasing the maximum price per unit that suppliers can charge customers to £1,971 per year.
The poorest are now the hardest hurt by growing prices since they must spend significantly more of their household budgets on gas and electricity, according to think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Food, machinery, furniture, and other household goods costs increased in April, according to the ONS, which reports the UK’s inflation rate.
Due to the VAT rate for hospitality being restored to 20% after being dropped during the pandemic to assist companies, “all items” on restaurant and cafe menus increased as well.
Meanwhile, average gasoline prices in April 2022 were the highest on record, at £1.62 per litre, up from £1.26 a year earlier.
The rate at which prices rise is referred to as inflation. If a bottle of milk costs £1 and increases by 9p, the inflation rate is 9%.
Fuel, oil, and food prices have been rising for months as a result of the epidemic and the Ukraine conflict, and salaries have not kept up.
Inflation, according to the ONS, has reached its highest level since March 1982, when it was 9.1%.
The Bank of England warned earlier this month that the cost squeeze might push the UK into recession, with inflation likely to reach over 10% later this year as energy prices increase even more.