“Today’s figures show the cost of living is creeping ever higher for families, including the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and electricity bills, at a time when wages are stagnant and working-age benefits are frozen.
“Tomorrow’s earnings figures are expected to show that pay fell at the start of 2017, while inflation is set to continue increasing over the year. We know people in the poorest households spend roughly £1 in every 6 on food and £1 in £13 on energy bills, meaning they feel the squeeze more when costs go up.
“We need to see commitments in the manifestos to ease this strain. Over the next parliament the focus should be on making sure people can improve their prospects and progress in work; that productivity and pay rise in all parts of the UK, and that action is taken to tackle the ‘poverty premium’ to help deal with the high cost of essentials.”