Inflation in the UK has jumped to 11.1% in October with experts warning that it still may not have peaked due to the soaring prices of electricity, gas, food and diesel with millions facing a very difficult Christmas.
The gloomy figure is the worst for more than four decades and up from 10.1% in September – and significantly worse than the 10.7% consensus forecast by economists. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that the average UK household his now paying 88.9% for heating and lighting their home than a year ago.
The ONS said that inflation in housing and household services – which includes gas and electricity – was running at 11.4% in October – matching the previous record from 1950. The ONS estimated that without the Government subsidising bills this winter, the inflation figure could have been as high as 13.8%.
And ahead of his Autumn Statement tomorrow, Jeremy Hunt warned that getting inflation under control would require ‘tough but necessary decisions on tax and spending to help balance the books’, calling inflation an ‘insidious tax is eating into pay cheques, household budgets and savings’.
He said it was ‘thwarting any chance of long-term economic growth’, adding: ‘It is our duty to help the Bank of England in their mission to return inflation to target by acting responsibly with the nation’s finances’ – a nod the the higher taxes and spending cuts being predicted.
And in more bad news for Britons, retailers warned ‘there are few signs the cost-of-living crisis will abate any time soon’ as they stepped up calls for help from the Chancellor. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warned of a ‘lethal combination of recession and runaway inflation’ unless Jeremy Hunt acts.