The rising cost of energy has been a major contributor to the UK’s consistently high inflation rate during 2022. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that the average cost of fuel for a home in October was up 88.9 percent from the same month the previous year.
The 24th of December in London (Xinhua) — Christine Haycock, 42, was moved to tears when her eldest daughter Emily opted to save her allowance to purchase a new sweater for her mother.
“That really got to me,” Haycock told Xinhua in an interview at her home in an industrial area on the outskirts of Liverpool in northwest England.
As Christmas approaches, Haycock is still having trouble making ends meet. Haycock used a food bank for the first time a few weeks ago to get some of the basics she needed to feed her family.
She expressed regret that they would need a food pantry at Christmas, saying, “I was upset to think I’d gotten to the point that I needed a food bank.”
Haycock wasn’t by himself with the continuous cost-of-living crisis. More than 320,000 people in the United Kingdom (UK) experienced food insecurity for the first time between April and September, and 1.3 million emergency food packages were distributed by Trussell Trust, a renowned organisation battling against hunger.
Haycock stuffed old blankets against the windows and doors to keep the draughts out. “The weather is making things more worse than they already are. I’m excited about Christmas for the sake of my children but not for myself “The words came from her mouth.
The rising cost of energy has been a major contributor to the UK’s consistently high inflation rate during 2022. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that the average cost of fuel for a home in October was up 88.9 percent from the same month the previous year. In the United States, gas prices in October were over double what they were a year earlier.
Haycock stated, “My monthly energy cost has risen from 120 pounds (145 U.S. dollars) a month to 222 pounds, which has made living this year more of a challenge.”
Inflation was exacerbated by the rising cost of food. According to the ONS, the annual inflation rate for food and nonalcoholic beverages has increased for 16 straight months, reaching 16.5% in the 12 months ending in November.
Keith Baker, a research fellow in fuel poverty and energy policy at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, stated that some families in the UK this frigid Christmas must choose between keeping warm and eating.
“We’ve reached the point where charities are trying to get out warm gear to people,” said Baker, who has worked with groups trying to aid those afflicted by both a cost-of-living issue and high energy costs.
In light of the current economic situation, shoppers in Britain are being more frugal than usual this holiday season. According to a recent study by the Office for National Statistics, over 60% of respondents want to reduce their Christmas spending relative to the previous year.
According to the ONS, consumers are spending less money on Christmas this year, whether it be on presents, groceries, or restaurants.
“This comes down to monetary considerations. I feel guilty because I can’t give my children everything they want for Christmas “said Haycock, who receives financial assistance through the government programme universal credit designed to benefit low-income families.
“In 2023, all I want is to be able to pay my bills. What you’re asking for doesn’t sound like much “According to Haycock.