Cost of Living Crisis

Dorset Council and BCP Council are working with partners to offer support to residents impacted by the cost of living crisis.

You can read more about the available Dorset Council support, BCP Council support and the government support on GOV.UK.

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

Citizen's Advice have launched their cost of living dashboard that is updated every month tracking how the crisis is changing. Their blog summarises their key findings and their dashboard is here.

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.





Dorset Council: Cost of living help

BCP Council : Cost of living help

BCP Council: Household Support Fund

BCP Council: Support if your struggling to pay for food

GOV.UK: Government support for cost of living

Citizens Advice: Get help with the cost of living

ONS: Inflation and the cost of living

Public Health Dorset: JSNA Food Insecurity

BCP Council Economy Overview: Monthly economic bulletin of BCP in relation to the 'Cost of Living' crisis

Citizens Advice: Cost of living data dashboard

ONS: Cost of living insights

Royal Society for Public Health: Cost of living report on health