Michela Morizzo discusses the recent record rise in UK inflation
Consumer price inflation hit 10.1 percent in July, its highest since February 1982, up from an annual rate of 9.4 percent in June, intensifying pressure on households, figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed today. The Bank of England is forecasting inflation would peak at a whopping 13.3 percent in October, when regulated household energy prices are next due to increase – and a selection of businesses have urged Britons to batten down the hatches.
Imran Hussain, director at Nottingham-based Harmony Financial Services, said: “The biggest threat to any small business and household right now is the crippling cost of utilities. There is only so much people and small businesses can take.
“If the Government does not step up and put a cap on energy prices immediately, there will be anarchy in the streets before the winter arrives.”
Jenny Blyth, who is the owner of London-based Storm In A Teacup Gifts said: “The current economic climate is like nothing we’ve ever seen.”
While the pandemic had been hard, she said she and her staff had “persevered, stood together and made it work”.
However, she added: “The cost of living crisis is like living life on a financial knife edge in constant fear of falling. We cannot live like this, we simply won’t survive.
Rish Sunak and Liz Truss are locked in a Tory leadership battle as inflation soars
Boris Johnson is carrying on as PM in a caretaker capacity
“The government must step in and help before we find ourselves in a literal and financial blackout with people alone, cold and starving in their homes. Change must happen now.”
Samuel Mather-Holgate of Swindon-based Mather & Murray Financial: “Inflation at its current level is much more damaging than the pandemic was.
“There was support from the Government for businesses during Covid. Now, there’s nothing. In fact, the Government is increasing costs for business.”
Rob Peters, director of Altrincham-based Simple Fast Mortgage claimed the nation was “being held hostage by energy price terrorists”.
He added: “No.10 are our expert negotiators and they are about as much use as a porcelain hammer in a game of Whack-A-Mole.
READ MORE: Brexit win: Tariffs scrapped on hundreds of imports
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during an election debate in July
Lewis Shaw, founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services agreed, saying: “We’re lurching from one disaster to another, totally rudderless with serious problems coming down the tracks.
“Financially, the next six months will be difficult for many people and we’ve been told by the Bank of England to expect a recession.”
With Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak currently slugging it out for the right to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, Mr Shaw urged the Government needs to “stop navel-gazing and get on with the job of running the country”.
He said: “Millions of hard-working people up and down the land are petrified thinking about how they’re going to pay their energy bills come winter.”
“In recent years, the country has blundered from one disaster to another and the public are desperate for strong leadership to step forward and guide the way to safety. I just can’t see it happening anytime soon.”
‘Atomic message’ White House drenched in radioactive blood- US steps toward ‘annihilation’ [INSIGHT]
Nuclear horror: Timeline set for Russia to ‘launch strike’ if Putin feels like he’s losing [REVEAL]
Ukraine: Putin rocked by ‘multiple’ explosions at Russian base – beachgoers stunned [SPOTLIGHT]
Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor
Faye Jones, fundraising manager at Shepton Mallet-based animal charity, Happy Landings Animal Rescue painted a gloomy picture for the nation’s cats and dogs.
She explained: “Increasingly, many households are struggling to care for their pets and are having to give up their beloved companions simply to survive.
“The demand for pets has dropped dramatically, with people citing that they cannot afford the financial and time commitment in the current climate.”
She added: “The cost of living crisis and the upcoming recession have exacerbated an already dire situation, and the threat of an animal welfare crisis is fast approaching.
UK energy bills – the highest regions
“Our calls to surrender a pet are the highest they have been since we started our rescue charity in the 1980s.”
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “We must get a grip on rising inflation leaving families worried sick about making ends meet.
“Labour’s fully-costed plan to freeze the energy price cap will bring inflation down this winter, easing the burden on households and businesses.
“And it will mean that households won’t pay a penny more for their energy bills this winter.
Dogs and cats are being given up as people struggle to manage financially
“People are worried sick and, while the Tories are busy fighting and ignoring the scale of this crisis, only Labour can give Britain the fresh start it needs.”
Responding to the ONS figures, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said: “I understand that times are tough, and people are worried about increases in prices that countries around the world are facing.
“Although there are no easy solutions, we are helping where we can through a £37 billion support package, with further payments for those on the lowest incomes, pensioners and the disabled, and £400 off energy bills for everyone in the coming months.
“Getting inflation under control is my top priority, and we are taking action through strong, independent monetary policy, responsible tax and spending decisions, and reforms to boost productivity and growth.”