Inflation: Britons see fuel costs surge – what to do if you're struggling to pay bill

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    In August 2021, inflation in the UK saw its largest month-to-month increase on record, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). On top of tax hikes and benefit cuts, the British public also have to deal with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rising from two percent in July to 3.2 percent in August. Growing inflation rates are also being exacerbated by businesses facing struggles with worker and supply shortages resulting from Brexit.

    Among the products and services highlighted by YouGov were fuel, household bills, groceries, having a meal out, having an alcoholic beverage out, getting haircut or beauty treatment, clothes, hobbies, public transport and shop-bought alcohol.”

    Respondents were asked if the changes were either a major, moderate or minor increase compared to pre-Covid times.

    According to the survey, recent price hikes are starting to have an effect as fuel topped the list of rising expenses.

    Some 77 percent of people surveyed said they have noticed it becoming more expensive since the start of the pandemic.

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    This included 31 percent of drivers in the UK, who reported a “major increase” to their bills from before.

    According to Citizens Advice, Britons are encouraged to reach out to their energy provider to negotiate their repayment plan.

    If this falls through, people may be able to repay their debt to the supplier directly from their benefits, if they are receiving support from the DWP, through the Fuel Direct Scheme.

    This is widely considered to be the most effective way of paying off any unpaid energy bills as it does not risk electricity or gas running out.

    However, those who are eligible must be receiving certain qualifying benefits, including: Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit andUniversal Credit, if they are unemployed.

    Furthermore, three in four of those surveyed (75 percent) revealed they have seen their household bills rise even further, with 17 percent noticing a massive rise.

    This will be a worrying development as energy bills are set to increase even further from October 1 following the growing crisis over fossil fuels.

    People also noted that everyday groceries, such as bread and milk, had become increasingly expensive over the last 18 months.

    Around seven in ten people (72 percent) shared they had noticed prices rise or product sizes shrink over the course of the pandemic.

    In a further breakdown of this, one in seven people (14 percent) said there has been a major increase, while three in ten (30 percent) regard it as moderate, and a quarter (27%) as minor’.

    Recently, the ONS reported that the price of food and drink in shops and supermarkets rose by 1.1 percent in the month of August, which is the highest rate of growth since 2008.

    This growing rise in the price of food and drink was noticed by Britons who tend to eat out regularly in restaurants, cafes and bars.

    Around half of people who normally eat (53 percent) and drink (51 percent) out shared they had realised prices in restaurants and pubs had risen since March 2020.

    In regards to the bottom of YouGov’s expenses poll, people were least likely to notice an increase in the cost of public transport.

    Only three in ten regular users of public transport have picked up on their fares going up in the last year and a half.

    However, among Londoners who are the most reliant on buses and trains, this figure rises sharply to 44 percent as they are more likely to rely on public transport on a regular basis.



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