Advice NI respond to latest soaring inflation figures

Responding to the latest inflation figures Kevin Higgins, Head of Policy, Advice NI said:

"People on the lowest incomes – both in and out of work – have endured a decade of austerity; freezes and cuts to social security benefits and job loss due to the pandemic.

They now find themselves disproportionately affected by the current cost of living crisis; crushing energy bills and faced with the stark choice of going cold or hungry to make ends meet. The Consumer Price Index has now spiked to 7.0%, but let’s not forget the Retail Price Index which has actually spiked to 9.0%.

The out-of-touch Chancellor has failed to recognise the plight of low income families, choosing to ignore the current crisis by sticking to the out-of-date benefit uprating formula which uses the September 2021 inflation figure of 3.1%.

Little wonder the Government's own Office for Budget Responsibility states that the rise in inflation to a 40-year high this year will reduce real household disposable incomes leading to the biggest fall in living standards in any single financial year since records began.

Advice NI is calling for the Government to do more to help low income families whose budgets are already at breaking point. A start would be to uprate benefits in line with the current inflation figures to provide people with some sort of income adequacy to cope with the current crisis.

Increased poverty, hardship and destitution will be the consequences of a failure to act."