Rebecca McDonald, Chief Economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:
“Inflation continues to hit highs not seen since the early 1980s, heaping more pressure on millions of families who were already struggling. While the very high annual rate is still heavily fuelled by energy costs, it will be worrying for families already trying to manage on low incomes that the biggest contributor to the increase on last month's rate was food prices.
“The support package announced last month shows the Chancellor is finally grasping the scale of the crisis. The continuing rise in food prices means the decision in April not to uprate benefits in line with inflation has left low-income households, who spend more of their budget on these items, facing a difficult 3 months until they receive their July payment.
“Instead of lurching from crisis response to crisis response, the government needs to get on the front foot and address the fundamental inadequacy of our social security system. As a first step to ensuring that benefits actually support people in hard times, the government must immediately stop deducting debt repayments from benefits at unaffordable rates.”