Figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday confirm that inflation in the UK is at its highest point in 40 years – putting a further squeeze on household budgets of people across North Ayrshire and beyond.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which measures the change in prices paid by UK consumers, has increased by 9.0% in the 12 months to April 2022, up from 7.0% in March.
On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 2.5% in April 2022, compared with a rise of 0.6% in April 2021.
Last Monday, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey advised MPs at the Treasury Select Committee in Westminster that UK consumer demand will be impacted by current inflation, and this is expected to cause higher unemployment.
The Bank of England has also predicted that inflation is likely to peak at 10.25% during the final quarter of 2022. The International Monetary Fund has also expressed concern.
Economists had already predicted that the end to free-flowing trade with the EU, and a shortage of European workers following Brexit would make the UK more inflation-prone with Brexit responsible for around half the rise in prices so far.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Much of this disaster, which sees people able to afford less and less, was foreseeable and SNP Ministers and MPs have sounded the alarm bells, but the Tories didn't care to listen.
"Way back in January, the SNP Government asked Tory Ministers for a four nations approach to tackle the increasing cost-of-living crisis, but such calls remain unanswered.
“Just this week, Tory Ministers have demonstrated how out of touch they are by suggesting people should just “take on more hours or move to a better paid job,” while wealthy Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP finds it difficult to understand why an emergency budget is needed to protect people who are not as wealthy as he is. If Mr Sunak persists in his failure to act now, he should consider his position.”
The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) rose by 7.8% in the 12 months to April 2022, up from 6.2% in March.
The largest upward contributions to the annual CPIH inflation rate in April 2022 came from housing and household services (2.76 percentage points, principally from electricity, gas and other fuels, and owner occupiers' housing costs) and transport (1.47 percentage points, principally from motor fuels and second-hand cars).