BRITS are being warned they face the reality of a “bleak” winter as the price of household essentials continue to skyrocket.
Food inflation reached 12.4 per cent in the year leading up to November, meaning some items are seeing their highest prices for years.
According to the British Retail Consortium’s chief executive Helen Dickinson, this has included popular staple items including meat, dairy and eggs.
She says the rise in costs is thanks to the high energy costs involved in feeding and transporting the animals.
In addition, the price of coffee has risen the most this month due to high input costs and could continue to rise as Christmas approaches.
She explained to the Daily Record: “Winter looks increasingly bleak as pressures on prices continue unabated.
“While there are signs that cost pressures and price rises might start to ease in 2023, Christmas cheer will be dampened this year as households cut back on seasonal spending in order to prioritise the essentials.”
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ, added: “With prices still rising, the cost of Christmas will be higher this year and shoppers will be managing their budgets more closely than at any time since the start of the cost-of-living crisis.
“Retailers are now responding by offering seasonal savings and price cuts and will be hopeful of an uptick in shopper spend as we move into December.”
ONS food data from October showed that dozens of household goods on the whole were seeing an increase amid the highest inflation in 40 years.
Other items seeing an increase included vegetable oil, crisps, tea bags and milk.
The price hike has been largely blamed upon Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has upended food exports from both nations since it erupted in February.
Worker shortages and the skyrocketing price of fuel have also been pointed to as the reasons behind higher food costs.
To help ease the cost-of-living squeeze, Ms Dickinson believes that the government should step in to halt food price rises by freezing business rates.
She added that this would prevent “an additional £800m bill landing on the plates of retailers and in turn their customers in 2023”.
What support can you get?
As households are facing mounting bills into the colder months, the government is offering several options to help hard-up Brits.
Among the support available is £150 for those with disabilities, a £400 energy rebate for 30 million UK households, and a £650 cost of living payment that is expected to help out over 1 million families.
The second Cost of Living payment is due to hit bank accounts from next week.