It is hard enough living below the poverty line, surviving on benefits, if they don't rise with inflation it is effectively an income cut to the poorest people in UK society. We would have to make more difficult decisions about how to spread the same amount of money even further. We are stretched thin enough already and have been for years. It affects our family's health but I believe that is Government's intention and desire.
As a family who already have used food banks to get by in the last 6 months, to then not have benefits increased in line with inflation would be a devastating blow to our already struggling finances. Everything is costing more and more, I can't remember the last time we went out to the cinema or had a meal out - increasing days are spent at home, wondering how we can utilise what we already have and thinking about different revenue streams. To then have to worry further about our household income demonstrates how profoundly the cost of living crisis is still affecting families like mine. The stigma attached to people claiming benefits continues, as the general feeling surrounding increasing benefits is often frowned upon. I've heard people saying "They get enough already. Why don't they get up and work for a living" We still have a long way to come as a society, and increasing benefits will at least give those struggling a sense of dignity.
Feeling very unsupported within the welfare system as a neurodivergent family. No one will recognise that my autism and my husband's ADHD affect our ability to work. Self- employment is work we can do, but not the hours we’re expected so we can’t meet our minimum income floor, and are trying to survive on a monthly UC payment that is less than our rent! But because we fail the extremely narrow (mostly physical) limited capacity to work assessments if we weren’t self-employed we’d be expected to take any job - despite us both knowing that there are aspects of most jobs that we literally can’t do, or that would make us ill. The system is broken.
I hate the minimum income floor. The council are now using our minimum income floor to calculate whether we qualify for a council tax reduction. Which means they are now charging us £200 a month because they’ve taken it away. We don’t have an extra £200 a month!
No, I don't think so. My income is not high enough to cover the extra food cost. Income was same as before pandemic but food and basic needs price not gone to pre-pandemic level. Every day, need to think which things to cut for extra things to buy. Now life gone for compromise and adjust.
I don't think it is over. Very little has been done to support people through that. Salaries are still the same. Prices for essentials have gone up. More people are in debt.
I definitely don't think that the cost of living crisis is over. In fact, sadly I think it's gonna be with us for a while.
I say this because, if the cost of living crisis was over, how come the prices in my local supermarkets keep going up rather than down, as is the cost of many other things like rent, etc?
Moreover, in many recent documentaries that I've watched, people are really struggling, and having to resort to foodbanks, partly because the jobs are just not there like they used to be, but also because many of the jobs that people are in just ain't paying enough, and hence people resort to foodbanks in order to make ends meet.
I think the media are portraying the narrative that the cost of living crisis is over so that they can make people think that things are not as bad as they actually really are.
Certainly not, while the price of some things has gone back down a bit in price such as gas, electricity and fuel, there are still millions of families like mine that are going to have no choice but to leave the heating turned off this winter and stay cold in our own homes due to the cost. I am unable to afford to cook food on a daily basis, often having to eat cold meals instead that do not require the use of gas or electricity. In the shops the price of some foods has also come down slightly such as fruit and vegetables but again the cost of fresh fruit is still far too high to enable us to afford the recommended amount, also I am sure most people have noticed that apart from price increases in a lot of supermarket prices there has also been a reduction in the amount / size of package simply meaning another increase.
I also feel this has a larger effect on those receiving Legacy benefits that did not get any increase along with other benefits earlier in the year and also missed out on most cost of living payments. My situation on Legacy benefits means myself and my daughter are living on the same amount as we we were five years ago apart from the small increase in child benefit, with no help from my previous partner this is all we have to survive on. So simply, NO the cost of living crisis is not over and is yet a long way off. I am starting to lose hope that anything will change for low income families no matter what government is in place within my lifetime. Whenever there is a price increase in utility bills, internet connection, food or anything else it means I have to make more and more cutbacks in other areas to stay afloat.
It is not a case of if and when things will change, it is NOW that changes must be made in order for a fairer society where we can all have a reasonable standard of living, bring up our families to have the best possible start in life that is achievable and be in a situation to lift themselves out of a life of poverty.
Absolutely not. I’m finding now more than ever I’m really losing sleep over worrying about money. The price of everything is beyond a joke and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. I’ve just got my daughter a place in playgroup because it’s cheaper than ‘childcare’ to try and free up some hours for me to be able to get back to work, and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to manage. It’s £210 a month for only 12 hours a week. Jobs don’t even pay an hourly rate that’s enough to cover it. I don’t know how anyone is expected to live at the minute.
The start of the new school year is terrifying particularly as I now have 2 kids in high school, the uniform is extortionate, then there's the meals and on his first day back my son informed me they have a school trip I need to pay for in 2 weeks. Honestly have no clue how I'm going to do that with no expendable income or savings. I hope others are in a better position than I am.
I must remember to budget for this time of year next year - £70 on school shoes has meant compromises on the food shop for a few weeks. My son has very narrow feet (and one bigger than the other currently). I did purchase some from Lidl for £10 but they were a very poor fit and heavy so returned them. As he is in his school shoes from 7:30 till 5pm 5 days a week I made this a priority spend and got him fitted and kitted out at our local specialist children's shoe shop. As a compromise he is having to wear his old trousers, shorts and well worn sweatshirts. I've bought new polo shirts as his old ones were stained and faded. He will have to make do with his old school bag with a hole in. I'm trying to teach him to respect his belongings and not drag things across the floor but at age 6 it is easier said than done! I'm currently stalking the charity shops and facebook market place for a warm winter coat for him.
The beginning of the new school year means the end of the summer and the start of the cooler weather. How long can I hold off putting the heating on - a definite challenge living in the North East. I'm working less hours in order to focus on my final year of studies so this not only means less income but also the fact that I'm going to be home for an additional 2 days a week which means heating the house more often. I'm trying to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel and that once I'm qualified in Dec 2024 then, fingers crossed, my finances will improve. I'm in for a very tough ride until then. I'm well aware of the privilege I am in, many others who are struggling financially are trapped and lack hope of a better future.
As far as expense is concerned, the new school year has always filled me with dread. My daughter is now in 6th form studying for her A levels so does not need to wear a school uniform, but she does have to wear smart casual clothes and shoes which still have to be paid for out of my legacy benefit payment.
On top of this, there is a need for students to buy and supply their own books which can be expensive. I am also very concerned that living on an extremely low income, not being able to afford to feed ourselves properly and the fact that my daughter also acts as an unpaid carer for me, is having a serious effect on her studies at school, which seems to be taking its toll on her at present.
On top of this she also has a lump on her knee which causes a lot of pain and discomfort which we are waiting for a hospital appointment for in order to have it removed, which is also affecting her studies and means she will need time off school to recover. So, basically, going back to school in September is not something we are looking forward to as the whole situation we find ourselves in is having a detrimental effect on her ability to have the best possible chance in life she can get.