Inflation Rates Remain At An All Time High

Published on by Marina Turay (author)

Location(s): Hastings

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One of the biggest price increases saw an 8.5% rise from 4.8%  in the price of fish and milk, cheese and eggs. The reasoning behind the price of inflation has been set by the falling cost of motor fuel and furniture prices the ONS said. Also with the fall in value of the pound since Brexit, this has contributed to the recent rise in inflation as the cost of imported goods have increased.


Higher inflation has stopped peoples spending habits as the ONS reports that UK retail sales fell by 0.3% in October of this year but economists have said that this could be due to warm weather which held back sales.


However, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the latest inflation figures: "will add to the sense that the worst of this impact has already passed".


Due to the increase of food prices and the roll over from benefits to universal credit which has a six-week wait for a single monthly payment. This has seen some households visiting food banks just to make ends meet.


The local food bank run by The Trussell Trust which helps feed people living in Hastings and St Leonards has seen an 82% increase in referrals since Universal Credit was placed here. On Friday afternoon, the food bank fed 181 people which is the most that they have ever seen in one day.


Natalie Williams, Communications & Community Engagement Manager at King’s church Hastings, home of the food bank said: “I believe that the increasing costs of basic necessities, such as food, are playing a part in people struggling to make ends meet. Many people in Hastings are just about managing to live week to week, meaning that increased costs or a sudden unexpected problem such as a cooker breaking, can push them into crisis. Local agencies such as doctors and advice bureau can refer people to foodbanks when this happens. We see a number of people coming to the foodbank under such circumstances.”


Reports from The Peabody Trust has said that claimants signing on from this week will not receive any income before Christmas, this is because of the 42-day wait for payment which will see 60,000 households with over 40,000 children not receive any payment until the festive season ends.


The waiting time has caused concern for claimants who have blamed the wait for rent arrears and rising food bank referrals.


Jeremy Corbyn claimed during Prime Minsters Questions, that hundreds of families in Lincolnshire could risk losing their homes over the festive period due to the rollout of universal credit. Labour has claimed that families in North East Lincolnshire have received the "Section 21" notices from a property firm ahead of next month's rollout of universal credit in the area.


He urged that problems with universal credit should be fixed first and it should be paused for the time being. MPs will debate the issues surrounding universal credit on Thursday afternoon, after much speculation of the pressure over unconfirmed reports that the wait will be reduced from six-weeks to at least a week.


The Trusell Trust charity has said they are concerned the demand for food banks will worsen in the months leading to Christmas when demand for food traditionally spikes, and when the number of food banks in areas of full Universal Credit service will triple.


Mark Ward, Interim Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust, said: ‘we’re concerned food banks could struggle to meet demand this winter if critical changes to benefit delivery aren’t made now. People cannot be left for weeks without any income, and when that income does come, it must keep pace with living costs – food banks cannot be relied upon to pick up the pieces.’


The trust has urged ahead of the Budget; the Government should reassess its current four-year freeze on benefit levels as this is a key concern to prevent people from reaching crisis point.















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