StepChange responds to new inflation data
New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 10.1% in the twelve months to July, up from 9.4% in June. With the October energy price cap rise fast approaching and real wages failing to keep pace with inflation, StepChange is warning that more help from government will be needed for those on low incomes.
Responding to the ONS’ data, Phil Andrew, CEO of StepChange Debt Charity said: “The burden of spiralling inflation is weighing heavier on household finances with each passing month – the cost of living is now the number one reason for new StepChange clients’ debts. The next Prime Minister’s first priority upon entering office next month must be to ensure that those on the lowest incomes are thrown a lifeline to cope with these rising costs.
“Bringing the uprating of benefits forward from April 2023 to September would be a welcome way to begin to support the most financially vulnerable, as would bringing in a new targeted financial package that matches the scale of the projected October price cap rise. We would also like to see a commitment to pausing unaffordable government debt deductions, which are already a cause of major hardship.
“Months of rampant inflation will have left many low income households staring down the barrel of debt and destitution. A clear and ambitious set of measures to save them this from this fate is needed, and fast.”