Cost of living support package will cover less than half of soaring costs, analysis shows

Financial help given to low-income households must be at least doubled to help families through the winter.

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According to a new study conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the rising cost of living will more than wipe out the support package provided by the government.

This finding makes the case for increasing the amount provided in order to protect those who will be hardest hit by the upcoming winter, the think-tank argues.

The Bank of England anticipates that consumer price inflation will climb to 13 percent by the end of 2022 and will continue to be elevated throughout a recession that lasts for one full year.

The research conducted by JRF utilised this to evaluate the impact that growing living expenses will have on families with lower incomes.

By April of 2023, monthly energy costs will be an average of £1,550 more expensive than they were at the same time this year.

In addition to this, the cost of food and other items that are examples of regular expenditures will rise by an average of a thousand pounds due to inflation.

When taken together, these factors make it so that a family with a low income is $2,550 worse off.

The government has committed to providing low-income families with working-age adults a combined support package of £1,200, but JRF says the grim economic prognosis necessitates that this amount be at least doubled in order to assist families in making it through the winter.

Katie Schmuecker, Principle Policy Advisor at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “A lot has changed since the Government announced it would step in to stop families falling prey to runaway gas and electricity bills.

“The Bank of England is telling us high inflation will be with us for at least the next couple of years, and its Governor conceded the least well-off will be hit hardest.

“This won’t just increase prices for the most vulnerable. It means their benefits payments are worth less because they aren’t uprated at the same pace as soaring inflation.

“The Government can’t sit idly by while millions of families forego basic essentials in an attempt to meet astronomical living costs that are outside their control.

“Even before this unprecedented winter, low-income families had little breathing space because social security has been subject to cuts and freezes for over a decade.

“The Government must now step up and at least double the support paid to those most in need, to prevent a difficult winter becoming a catastrophe for families on low incomes.”

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