Dorset Council and BCP Council are working with partners to offer support to residents impacted by the cost of living crisis.
The ‘cost of living crisis’ refers to the fall in ‘real’ disposable incomes (adjusted for inflation and after taxes and benefits) that the UK has experienced since late 2021. In part, caused by high inflation outstripping wage and benefit increases. While all people are affected by rising prices, the impact has been felt most by those with low incomes who spend a greater share on energy and food.
Features of the crisis so far include:
- Inflation reaching a 41 year high before falling. However it still remains high leading to substantial rises in living costs
- UK inflation is higher than most comparable economies
- Interest rates, mortgages and rents have risen
- Higher rates have led to higher borrowing costs for households
- 51% of adults in Great Britain reported an increase in their cost of living
- Projected real incomes have fallen in 2022/23 and are stagnating in 2023/24. Meaning a combined two-year fall in real household income of 4%
- Low-income households are most affected by rising prices.
- Food bank charities reported in the year to March 2023 they provided nearly 3 million emergency food parcels.
Cost of living impacts on health:
- Cold homes as people turn off heating increasing/worsening cardiovascular disease
- Worsening diets as a result of food insecurity increasing the risk of diet-related disease
- Worsening mental health from rising costs, financial pressures and employment insecurity
- Worsening of preventable and treatable ill health as people not accessing services or unable to pay prescription costs
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) cost of living latest insights provides the latest data and trends that explore changes in the cost of everyday items and how it is affecting people.