By Jordan Lemm –
It is safe to say that living costs are increasingly becoming more expensive for the average household in England this year. Inflation is currently at an all-time high, recently rising to a rate of 5.5%, in what the BBC says is the fastest rate of growth in over 30 years.
However, this figure is expected to grow even further, with the Bank of England predicting to see inflation spike up to 7% by April 2022, which is extremely higher than the Bank of England’s target of 2%. Despite the National Minimum Wage increasing next month, prices are set to rise much faster than wages are.
The average cost of living has been on the rise ever since the pandemic first took its toll in 2020. With the majority of people either working from home or surviving off of furlough, government spending was at an all-time high, as well as a decrease in weekly spending from consumers, cracks in the economy began to appear. Add this to an extra cold winter in 2021, the lifting of Covid restrictions leading to higher business costs and the increased demand for oil and gas in England; prices started to creep their way up.
The government has already started to prepare residents in England for upcoming price hikes, as energy bills are soon to see a 54% rise on the First of April. There is already a level of frustration among people due to the recent prices of petrol and diesel skyrocketing. The average cost of a litre of petrol by March 2022 sits at 159.96p, compared to just 125.3p in March 2021. For people who rely on their cars in day-to-day life, the extra spend each week is quickly burning holes in their pockets.
The rice in fuel prices is caused by the rise in oil prices overseas as well as the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine as the UK government decided to avoid using Russian supplies as an economic sanction on the invading country and to show solidarity with Ukraine.
Residents of Kirklees are also going to feel the burden of the increased cost of living even more as the council announced in February that the Council Tax rate will increase by 2.99% in April, to the largest possible rate it can be. The council explains that the reason is down to the “Budget of Recovery” announced on February 16, with plans set in place to get the town thriving again after two years of Covid restrictions.
Think Tank, the New Economics Foundation, reported that the population of Yorkshire and Humber have experienced the most significant increase in households being unable to afford basic essential items since 2019.
There are schemes being put in place, however, to provide help to those who find themselves struggling to keep up with the increased cost of living. The government announced a £150 council tax rebate for those in bands A-D paying by direct debit and a further £200 energy bill rebate. People in Kirklees will have access to help from the council with an extra £3 million in the budget specifically targeted to help households with the extra costs of living.
What do you think about these extra costs of living? Have you already been affected by rising costs? Let us know in the comments below.