Cost of living: Almost half of people in most deprived areas forced to cut back on food

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·3-min read
Almost half of people in England's most deprived areas are cutting back on food. (PA)
Almost half of people in England's most deprived areas are cutting back on food. (PA)

Almost half of people in England’s most deprived areas are being forced to cut back on food and essential goods due to the cost of living crisis.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 42% of households in the most deprived areas are buying less food and essentials to cope with soaring prices, compared to 27% of households in the least deprived areas.

Overall, 35% of households - about 16 million people - reported reducing their spending on food and essentials.

People cutting back on food and essentials because of the cost of living crisis. (Yahoo News UK)
People cutting back on food and essentials because of the cost of living crisis. (Yahoo News UK)

Some 89% of adults in Great Britain have reported their cost of living has increased, with the three main reasons being higher food bills, energy bills and fuel costs.

Among those who have seen their cost of living go up, spending less on non-essentials is the most common mitigation, taken by 57% of people (about 26 million).

Other changes include using less gas and electricity in their home (51%, or 24 million people) and cutting back on non-essential journeys in their vehicle (42%, or 19 million people).

Watch: Bank of England predicts 13% inflation and recession as interest rates rise

Warnings about the cost of living crisis are becoming ever more dire.

Energy prices have risen dramatically in recent months with consultancy Cornwall Insight warning this week that energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap - which sets bills for 23 million households in Great Britain - is set to hit £3,359 per year from October for the average household.

Average annual energy bills are approaching £4,000. (Yahoo News UK)
Average annual energy bills are approaching £4,000. (Yahoo News UK)

At the start of this year, the average energy bill was £1,277 annually.

This week, Ofgem announced its price cap will be changed every three months from October, with adjustments having previously been every six months.

With the continuing surge in gas prices, this means families will be facing even more frequent bill increases - with the regulator facing a backlash over its decision. Ofgem said it is changing the price cap update to quarterly because the market is moving so quickly and it is not sustainable for people to pay a rate up to six months old.

Inflation is expected to continue soaring. (Yahoo News UK)
Inflation is expected to continue soaring. (Yahoo News UK)

Elsewhere, the Bank of England has warned the nation faces a 15-month recession and inflation of more than 13% later this year.

In response, it raised interest rates from 1.25% to 1.75%, the biggest rise for 27 years, which will put new pressure on mortgage holders and borrowers.

Read more: Top cabinet minister admits 'I don't know where Boris is' amid dire economic forecasts

From October, the government will be providing a £400 energy bill rebate, spread across six monthly instalments, to help households through the winter.

With the ever-worsening economic conditions, there will be pressure on the next prime minister to take further action. Liz Truss, the frontrunner in the Conservative leadership contest, has committed to holding an emergency budget if she becomes PM next month.

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