Many low income families rely on government benefits. It will be very difficult if their benefits do not increase in line with inflation in April. Already we have cut lots of essential items in our household to survive. So, we urge the government to increase benefits in line with inflation in April.
The way I see it, the cost of living crisis is DEFINITELY NOT OVER, nor looks likely to be over in the coming months or years.
I believe the ongoing cost of living crisis is pushing up prices in every sector of the economy and the country as a whole is still suffering.
Around where we live petrol costs have crept back up again. (Were down to £1.35 p/l now back at £1.52). An average weekly food shop for 1 adult /1 child is coming in around double what we were paying back in early 2022. We've basically quit buying anything other than what meals we might like a few days at a time to avoid throwing away food that perishes easily. So no choice with fresh fruits or veg, dairy produce or fancy extras like dips desserts or pre prepared salad items. Even supermarket pizza is around £6 upwards. That's a pizza meant for 1 person by the way - at home.
We ate takeaway last week. I was shocked it came to £20 two meals. I had chicken cashew nut with fried rice, the sauce was watered down, the meal was full of large watery onion & green peppers with about 5 half cashew nuts in the entire serving?! Seems to me everywhere is feeling the pinch!?
I've had car insurance renewal up over £100 on last year's price which is an outrageous amount to have to pay. Thankfully I've shopped around to find cheaper but not easy to do.
Nothing is any cheaper. Quarterly water rates jumped up by £30 earlier this year!!!? Not just a few extra pound.
Obviously I've also seen an increase in energy bills over the last few months.
There's no increase in my payments to account for the extra costs. In fact it's been both in the news and social media that the government are looking to cut benefits for those with long term health conditions. I am livid with their measures. I jump through enough hoops to take their rigged tests already! If I could work I would. I loved my old job.
I have basically gone without so much of this last year just to afford to cover the day to day bills. I've been wearing old bikini tops as I haven't been able to afford new underwear as it's no longer fitting or falling apart. Does nothing for your self esteem at a medical appointment to not have clean well fitting underwear.
Once upon a time I could take my two youngest shopping and tell them, "no problem! We can afford the luxury products", at the supermarket!!! We didn't have to worry about the bank balance or the account having enough in it to cover meals out when I couldn't face shopping /cooking, or the cinema to cheer up up/end of the week treats, etc.
So in my view, no it hasn't gone away. The cost of living crisis is still very much alive and kicking and here to stay by the looks of things. 😤
Quite simply I have no real plans for the future and no way of being able to make plans. Living like we do as a single parent family is tough. We live from week to week, trying to keep enough money to pay monthly bills ect. and wondering what food we may be able to buy depending on the prices when we arrive at the shop. Fortunately I am not in debt to anyone and am trying my hardest to keep it that way, but with the world the way it is and the economy in the state it is in we just worry all the time about when the next increase in one of the bills or cost of shopping is going to be. We are struggling to stay warm, clothed and fed properly. There is simply no more cutbacks to make to an already very simple and basic lifestyle. Meaning there is just no point in making any future plans just to make myself feel worse when I can't acheive them.
Everyday seems to be a struggle especially with every day essentials. Basic necessities like milk and eggs are becoming luxury items.
Having to resort to long life foods.
Final half term before the school holidays. Numerous birthday marathons of nephews ahead and not an inch of savings in sight. Having stopped looking at the prices of food as it just serves to put you in depression even more, treat food has been replaced with treat days of normal food. Bank of England in my head should probably be named ‘should we deplete the ‘Tank of England’s tiny household economy even more? I used to look forward to looking for work, hoping it would put me in a better stance, but being that I will be the sole provider in my 2 child dependent household, I might be putting my children at risk to becoming worse off…To eat or not to eat, to regain a career for the name and not the financial security or just rely on small income gigs as a lifeline on an already broken social welfare income system so as not to have daily mental health anxiety, that is the question? Shakespeare would have written an opera by now, not just an ordinary play.
Universal Basic Income: sounds like lazy thinking but really, you want people to work and be productive and get shit done, give them enough money that they can go "hmm, nice and relaxed, took time to care for my needs. Now I'm kinda bored, I know I'll go see what jobs are available, I get get myself treats with the extra cash and help the economy and help my community".
Real access to support - more funding to mental health services and social care services and charities that support families. Free breakfast clubs and after school clubs. Childcare support and/or legal protections in work for parents who need to be more flexible around school holidays. And free education for life, that means primary through to university through to additional learning or career changing in adulthood. The workplace would be far more productive this way and fewer barriers to entry.
Oh and seriously, ban 0-hour contracts, if you can't afford to properly employ workers with the proper legal protections and duties then don't have workers, it's not that hard. End exploitation.
I've had a particularly tough year with low mood. When I say low, I mean no mood - I feel flat, hollow, empty & apathetic all the time, despite being on the top dose of antidepressants. Any joyful, mindful moments are short lived. When I think about it, I don't think I've felt safe since the pandemic "ended". I use inverted comments because people are still being infected as the world returns to so-called normal. It must have ended because the Covid-19 app that pinged you if you'd been in contact with anyone has been discontinued, so we can uninstall it from our phones, right? The irony being is that even when my son was twice ill with Covid it never pinged - not once. Yet for many other people it pinged incessantly & unnecessarily - a so called "pingdemic". What an absolute waste of money for the nation - money that could have gone towards the most vulnerable to help them weather the storm.
I think it will help low income family like me to save some money and open the gate for more earnings. Government introduced these changes by hoping to boost employment, education, enterprise and everywhere of economic growth that's needed. Introducing 30 hours of free childcare helps parents back to work. Benefits reform will help inactive people back to workforce. Work coaches will help those who are long-term sick and disabled into work. This also help Universal Credit claimants back to work who were out of work.
The proposed changes in the budget will be devastating to me and my family.
Realistically and seriously, what job can I possibly do that will provide enough income to fund the lifestyle we currently have now, if not better?
Not too many years ago, both the job centre and the citizens advice bureau would offer "better off calculations" to claimants in order to establish whether a job offer was worth while taking up. If 'in work' costs such as the commute to work or loss of certain elements outweighed the amount in benefits received then the calculation would show a 'difference' amount and the claimant was under no obligation to take up the post if it would leave them financially worse off.
I think it's utter nonsensical for the government to make these changes without acknowledging the nature and complexities of peoples health conditions. Not to mention exacerbating symptoms. I would love to work however it's an unrealistic view that an employer would recruit someone with such profound difficulties to begin with, let alone that person being able to commit to performing sustainably in any workplace. As I've said previously what type of work does Hunt think an epileptic can do who has so many attacks a day, or a paraplegic or someone with a low functioning immune system that uses up an entire year's sick pay entitlement in the space of 3 months that they cannot afford to take any more time off?
Reliability criteria states the need to be able to perform a task regularly safely timely etc over 50% of the time. Will that be over looked by the government? How can they cast disabled and those with poor health conditions aside like this? How is that beneficial to anyone or how are outcomes better? Yes, when I'm in my grave due to the strain on my physical and mental health, then I can see it will of course be of benefit to them but not to me or my family. There's nothing like a bit of work life balance and this government wants nothing like it. Next it'll be children up chimneys again. They're already introducing children's bank accounts and litter picking schemes which children are getting involved with. What next? A social credit scheme like China?
Might as well get myself a tent to live in now, before I cant afford one at all.
So I got curious & have been digging around in old benefits letters from council tax benefits or old legacy benefits. I remember the wording on them used say something like "this is how much the law says you should have to live on" & "this is how we calculated your payments".
It seems I'm not the only person who remembers that statement appearing on official letters.
I know for certain the cab & possibly job coaches used to perform what they called "better off calculations" aimed at working out the difference between paid work or benefit support. Rather than people ending up in jobs where the costs of being in employment were more expensive than not being in it.
Seems like the government don't care about whether an individual ends up in debt anymore as long as they don't claim full benefit support.
I recently watched the Jimmy Saville documentary. During which one of the interviews caught my attention.
"Margaret Thatcher particularly liked Jimmy Saville because he wasn't relying on what the state could do. His entrepreneurialism, his taking the initiative. Her vision of society - thriving economy, relying on successful people who were able to support people who were less able to support themselves"
We subscribe to this tax system in this country, however it's becoming more American by the minute. If I could support myself I would. Can't see how pushing people off benefits into jobs they can't do is helpful to the employer, the state, the people, the NHS. In fact the only people who benefit are the undertakers because in my opinion the government is looking to give disabled people that final push.