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Commenting on today’s (Wednesday) inflation figures, which show headline CPI inflation at 2.3%, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:  

“The cost of living crisis is not over – no matter how  much ministers pretend it is. 

“Prices are still going up. Food and energy bills are much higher than a couple of years ago. And many are being hit by soaring mortgage repayments. 

“While it’s good the inflation rate is lower, millions up and down the country are still having to cut back on everyday essentials as they struggle to makes end. 

“That’s because household budgets have been decimated by the highest price rises in the G7 and wages have flatlined over the last 14 years.  

“Pay packets are still worth less today than in 2008, with working people on course to end this parliament poorer than at the start. 

“Make no mistake - the Tories have delivered the worst period for living standards in generations.” 

TUC polling published this week shows that nearly 6 in 10 (58%) say living standards have not got better this year – with just 14% saying they have improved. 

The poll also reveals that: 

  • Spending on essentials: 4 in 10 (42%) say they’ve cut back on essentials like food and utility spending this year. And this number rises to nearly 1 in 2 (47%) for women. 

  • Cutting back on non-essentials: 6 in 10 (60%) say they have cut back on non-essential spending like dining out and entertainment since the beginning of the year. 

  • Falling behind on bills: Around a fifth (19%) of respondents say they have fallen behind on household bills this year – a number that rises to over 1 in 4 (28%) for people aged 18-24. 

  • Taking on additional debt: Over quarter (27%) say have they taken out debt (loans, credit) to cover unexpected bills since the start of the year. This number shoots up to over a third (37%) for adults aged 25-49 – when lots of families raise children. 

Worst inflation in the G7 

Separate analysis from the TUC shows that UK has suffered the highest inflation and lowest economic growth of any G7 country between the end of 2021 (when interest rates began to be raised) and the end of 2023 (the last quarter with comparable information for all countries). 

The analysis shows that over this period UK prices shot up by 14.2% while the economy grew by just 0.4%. 

Over same period inflation across the G7 increased by 10.7% on average, while economic growth increased by 2.7% on average’ 

Rishi Sunak said he was Sunak prioritising getting growth up and inflation down, but instead he delivered the opposite.  

Editors note

-RPI inflation rose by 3.3% 

About the poll: The poll was carried out by YouGov between the 13th and 14th of May 2024. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,137. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 5th April 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). 

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