People facing choice between heating or eating!

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Protest against the cut to Universal credit – parent struggling to feed their children are facing longer working hours and children getting less food at school

‘There’s a growing cohort of people facing a choice between eating or heating who might not have even considered having to access our inadequate social security system before now,’ Sabine Goodwin, of the Independent Food Aid Network, said yesterday.

‘At food banks across Britain, donors are becoming users,’ she added.

Clare Moriarty, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: ‘Rising costs are simply swallowing what’s left of people’s budgets.

‘One of our advisers spoke to a parent last week who was having to choose between giving their kids a hot bath at bedtime, or putting on the heating for an hour while they got ready for school.

‘These stark choices are only going to get worse from April when energy bills rise again.’

A Resolution Foundation report on the state of the UK economy, which is due out today, warns that millions of the poorest people in the country are going to be massively worse off this year than last.

The report used the example of a single parent living in rented accommodation with one child, doing 20 hours of work a week supplemented by Universal Credit, who will see the effects of all the recently announced government help with energy bills and benefits more than wiped out by the soaring cost of living, leaving them hundreds of pounds a year worse off.

It said that typical household incomes would fall by 4% in 2022-23, a cut of £1,000 per household, the sharpest annual income fall since the mid-1970s.

The RAC has warned that drivers will be seeing ‘unbelievably high prices on forecourts’ in the coming days.

According to a report from data firm Experian Catalist, the average cost of a litre of petrol last Thursday was £161.1, up from £159.6 on Wednesday.

The average cost of a litre of diesel increased by 2 per cent last Thursday, reaching a new high of £170.1.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said drivers will be ‘wondering whether these record rises are ever going to stop’.

He said the RAC is calling on Tory Chancellor Sunak to cut VAT on petrol and diesel in order to reduce the burden on people.

‘At the moment, just the VAT, which is of course called a tax on a tax, is bringing 26 pence per litre so, bringing that back to 15 per cent would instantly cut it by about six pence per litre,’ Williams said.