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HOUSEHOLDS are buying less food when shopping, with 46 per cent spending more than usual on their usual basket of goods, official data revealed today.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 43 per cent of people are purchasing less food amid the cost-of-living crisis, up from 8 per cent in September.
And more than 90 per cent of people reported that their living costs have risen over the last month, up from 62 per cent in November.
The most common reasons were rises in the price of food shopping at 93 per cent, gas or electricity bills as 86 per cent and the price of fuel at 80 per cent.
Trussell Trust head of policy and research Polly Jones told the Star: “Soaring food costs are affecting us all, but for families on the very lowest incomes this crisis means so much more.
“It means having to make impossible decisions like putting food on the table or using essential appliances — and too many people are being left with no option but to use a foodbank because their money simply won’t stretch.”
Ms Jones said foodbanks across the Trussell Trust network are reporting accelerating levels of need in recent months as more people are being pushed into deeper poverty and struggling to make ends meet.
“We know that most people at foodbanks can’t work or work longer hours due to caring responsibilities, mental health issues or disability,” she said.
“That’s why we’re urgently calling on the government to introduce a long-term commitment in the social security system to ensure everyone can afford the essentials we all need to survive, like food.”
The ONS data also revealed that around 45 per cent of people have cut back on car journeys due to surging fuel prices.
Gillian Colley, a designer at Peterborough jeweller Paper2Peals, said: “Inflation is causing me sleepless nights, every night and I know many others are experiencing the same thing.
“Fuel and energy bill rises are the worst, as I need to keep my house warm and I am also dependent on my car.
“Food also costs more. The government is displaying a complete lack of empathy and understanding of how the current financial crisis is affecting ordinary people."
Downing Street declined to say whether government measures to support households were working.
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