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Cost of living

Pause on interest rates brings little relief to millions of struggling families

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Responding to the announcement that interest rates will remain at 5.25%, JRF Chief Economist Alfie Stirling said:

"Even the continued pause on interest rates at 5.25% brings little relief to millions of families already struggling. People are in the grip of a suffocating squeeze from three sides - high and rising prices yet to stabilise, rising costs of debt that are still feeding through to mortgages and loans, and most recently a sharp increase in unemployment with more and more jobs at risk.

"More than 7 million families are already experiencing unacceptable hardship by going without basic essentials like food, a warm home and adequate clothing, and 2.3 million have gone into debt just to pay for these essentials. But under today’s prevailing conditions, millions more are just one life event away from needing support to get back on their feet, whether that be losing a job, stopping work to care for a loved one, or being forced to move home.

"Further targeted support from government is now vital. For ministers to cast doubt on whether they will uprate benefits with inflation in full next year is deplorable. But this is just the start, and government must go further, and quickly, to repair a broken and threadbare safety net by ensuring that it always guarantees enough for people to afford the essentials."

Leftovers from breakfast on a plate.

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