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13 April 2022

The UK’s living standards crisis is intensifying

As inflation hits 7 per cent, real wages are falling at the fastest rate since 2013.

By Polly Bindman

Wages in the UK are struggling to keep pace with inflation as consumer prices rise at the fastest rate in 30 years, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Driven by higher energy bills and petrol costs, consumer prices index inflation hit 7 per cent in March, surpassing the 6.7 per cent figure predicted by economists. In February, it stood at 6.2 per cent.

Wages, meanwhile, are rising at a slower rate, exacerbating Britain’s living standards crisis. In February, the average weekly earnings growth was 5.4 per cent. Excluding bonuses, the figure is lower still at 4 per cent, with real wages now falling at their fastest rate since 2013.

Following April’s energy price cap increase to £1,971 (up by £693), the living standards crisis is only likely to intensify, with households forecast to suffer the biggest annual fall in income since records began in 1956-57.

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