A MAN says he is forced to ration tins of tuna and shower with washing up liquid as the cost of living crisis has left him “the
poorest” he’s ever been.
Peter Girard, 62, from London, says trying to scrape by on his fixed income is “ridiculous”.
The 62-year-old is unable to work due to severe childhood trauma, but says his fixed income leaves him with just £100 a month after paying rent and bills.
Two weeks ago Peter was out of money and almost completely out of food, but still had another week until his payment would come in.
As his shelves and fridge were bare and empty, Peter had planned to
ration two tins of tuna each day for the following five days.
But after finding a single pound coin, he was pleased he could then stretch his budget to buy a loaf of bread.
Peter told MyLondon: “Because everything’s going up and my money’s going down, the money that used to just scrape through now can’t make it.”
When he goes shopping Peter always looks for the cheapest items available, often relying on the yellow stickered food that is almost passing its sell by date.
He said: “If I can afford it sometimes I’ll buy a bit of veg like some cucumber or tomato, if I can afford it.
“A treat would be cheese, when I can buy some cheese that’ll be my treat.”
But with his budget stretched thinner and thinner, Peter has had to make sacrifices in almost every aspect of his life.
He said: “I was having a shower with washing up liquid and putting
aftershave in the washing machine for the smell – I’ve never been so
poor it’s ridiculous.”
Peter is unable to work because of anxiety and stress caused by a
difficult upbringing in the care system.
He said: “I’m full of anxiety. My confidence isn’t great, so I’m not able to work because of the post traumatic stress.”
He explained how he had been taken into care when he was just eight months old, and bounced around between many homes until he was 18.
He said his childhood was very traumatic, and recalled how he heard his carers say “mixed race and black children are less likely to be adopted”, which caused him to harshly scrub at his skin in the bath.
He also recalled facing abuse that left him with a “broken jaw and broken ribs”.
Peter said that on his 12th birthday he was raped, adding: “I didn’t smile or laugh for a few decades. I can’t even tell you all because it’s so traumatic.”
After aging out of the care system at 18 years old, Peter said he was “not equipped to deal with anything” and was unable to read, write, cook or pay bills.
He soon found himself getting in trouble with the police, and at the
age of 18 went to prison for two years for an armed robbery attempt.
When he got out of prison he found an outlet with training at the gym, which allowed him to find work as a bodyguard and with ‘body worship sessions’.
But now faced with the most difficult financial state he’s faced, he took to TikTok to show the reality of the cost of living crisis.
Filming his carefully counted out tins of tuna, he said he posted the video in the hopes that “someone in the government would see it and realise how people are living”.
After his video went viral, Peter was inundated with messages of
support and gifts from his Amazon wish list.
Peter said “all hell broke loose” as he was sent gifts including toilet roll, boxes of Quaker oats, biscuits and even bedding.
While Peter is concerned about the upcoming winter, he said: “With the amount of food [sent by those online], I’m making it through this
Even though he’s been struggling himself, he said he might try
to take some of it down to the food bank to help others.
What help can you get?
For Brits facing mounting bills into the festive period, the government has rolled out new plans to help.
Millions of hard-up Brits are set to receive £650 under plans being drawn up by Jeremy Hunt, who will specifically target those who claim benefits.
Meanwhile, poor pensioners are likely to get £300 and there will be another £150 disability payment.
Eligible households will also be able to claim a FREE £180 in cash to help with the cost of living.
The help will be dished out under a new round of £421million funding given by the government to the Household Support Fund.
The Government is also expected to:
- Freeze income tax thresholds, dragging millions more workers into paying higher rates
- Allowing local bosses to increase council tax by 5 per cent up from the current 3 per cent.
- Increase benefits and pensions by 10.1 per cent in line with inflation
- Unleash sweeping spending cuts in a scramble to balance the books
- Make the rich pay more by reducing the threshold for the top 45p rate of tax