Impact of increased cost of living

ended 30. March 2022

Tomorrow morning at 09:30, the Office for National Statistics (the Government, basically) is publishing a detailed report on the proportion of the UK population affected by the increase in the cost of living, and people's ability to afford an unexpected expense. It's likely to get widespread media coverage as the cost of living crisis is clearly very topical right now. If you'd like the chance to get your business or charity in the media tomorrow on the back of this report, or simply air your views in front of millions, just answer the questions below and we'll do the rest. Please ensure there are pictures of you in your Newspage media pack and that your town/city has been added so we can target your local media, too.

  • How is the increase in the cost of living affecting you (financially, and in terms of your mental health)?
  • Are the Government and Rishi Sunak doing enough to support the hardest hit?
  • Has your ability to cope with an unexpected expense deteriorated in recent months?

10 responses from the Newspage community

"With the cost of living on the rise, a lot of people and starting to feel concerned about how they deal with the increases, what they should give up and do. There are many possible things that can help, but most people won't think of their mortgage as being one of them. A few things that could assist you, depending on your situation, and certainly things you should speak to a professional mortgage adviser about:   1. If you're on a tracker deal, or a variable rate deal of some sort, do you have the option to remortgage to a new lender on a better rate? Or even is there a better rate on offer from your current lender?   2. Can you extend the term of your repayment mortgage? Most lenders will allow you to take your mortgage term to the oldest borrower's 70th birthday, provided you are happy to postpone retirement to that age too. It could be something you do temporarily, for the next few years to reduce the monthly repayments, then revert back to a shorter term later on - nothing is set in stone.   3. Can part of your mortgage be switched to interest-only, if you have other assets (such as a pension lump sum due at retirement) that could be used to repay it?   4. Can you use cash savings in a flexible or offset mortgage to reduce your monthly payment, but still have access to your savings if needed?   "There are a surprising number of ways that a mortgage can be used as part of your wider financial planning; just speak to a professional mortgage broker about it and they'll let you know the possible options open to you."
"The tightrope that business owners are already walking is about to be yanked out from under them. Our clients are increasing their marketing spend, as the rising cost of living forces their prospective customers to spend only on essential services and products so they need to stand out. As a result, it's important that what we provide is absolutely top-notch. As a business owner myself, I've been keeping an eye on the pennies while continuing to invest in innovative and sustainable practices."
"The increase in the cost of living is affecting everyone from people struggling to make enough money to live on to business owners budgeting their expenses accordingly. At the end of the day we are all humans trying to convince other human beings to pay us for things we provide such as services. I believe there should be more help, especially for people that live on their own, the struggle is not just economical but also psychological. I consider myself quite lucky to have the support of my family and knowing that if I fall on hard times I have someone to back me up. I think as imperfect beings, we'll never feel we receive enough support but to be completely honest there's absolutely no minimum support at all that makes it worthwhile to even apply for. There should be more help. We are trying to keep everything by the books and being an entrepreneur bootstrapping your own business you end up having to take more money from the business to support yourself and that's something that needs to be solved with more support from the outside."
"We need less stick and more carrot. The textbook methods implemented by the Government for curbing inflation aren't working and it needs to wake up and realise this. Increasing the Bank of England interest rate is designed to reduce consumer spending and dampen the rising costs of goods and services by reducing spending. But who exactly is spending? When rapidly rising energy and fuel costs are the main reason for inflation, hammering the public and small businesses with increased borrowing costs isn't going to solve the issue. Neither is hiking up National Insurance. Most people are trying recover from the devastating blow the pandemic dealt; what is needed is support by dealing with the issue directly."
"From my perspective, our company is one that supports the wellbeing of others. We need stability and certainty to do our best work and the buffers we have are being eroded by increasing costs. The cost of living and mental health are deeply interconnected and it’s becoming more unequal by the day. This is a situation where people are being hit from all angles, with some things jumping in price and other incrementally creeping up. In our work, we meet thousands of employees and they are becoming increasingly sensitive to costs and increasingly worried about how it doesn’t feel like the crisis is being properly addressed. There’s an overarching feeling of powerlessness and for many people their psychological immune systems are run down due to the pandemic. One client summed it up best. He said: 'It feels like we are being kicked when we are already on the floor and the government are just watching and laughing'."
Star Quote
"The company I work for as my day job has just started getting us to come back to the office. With the price of petrol the way it is, the sixty mile commute simply isn't viable any more. With the frankly insane energy increases, the increased costs of food and everything else, plus the council tax rise on top, it's causing me considerable financial difficulty. My micro business was never intended to make me fabulously wealthy, just to allow me to make bright and affordable art for anyone. But raw material costs, postage increases and energy costs are forcing me to either increase prices beyond what is available to most, or just shut down the whole thing. This saddens me greatly, as making art has been my escape since 2007 when my niece and nephew were murdered. In 2019, my sister passed away from cancer, which also took my Dad later the same year. I need my creative outlet to cope, and I am losing it all, bit by bit."
"It’s a very worrying time for small business owners right now. People are already having to make decisions on what to cut back on because of the cost of living crisis. It’s a genuine concern that sales will drop because people are struggling to make ends meet. As well as this, the cost of raw materials and tools have continued to rise sharply for me since the start of Brexit. I really don’t want to have to hike my prices up but, long term, my current prices just won’t be sustainable. I’m finding it quite stressful to try and predict what will happen. Sales have fluctuated during the past two years due to the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis. As well as having to deal with the huge increases in household bills, I have to make sure my business that I have worked so hard to build up will continue to thrive in the current cost of living crisis that so many of us are now facing."
"All my bills are going up and everyone is very apprehensive about what is going to happen and as a result of this sales are very low at the moment. Unfortunately, I was not trading before the pandemic so could not get any sort of support until now. I believe many people could benefit from my products but if things don't start getting better soon I will have to rethink our business model. In the meantime, I am trying to reduce all my housing and personal expenses as much as possible."
"When I started my business 7 years ago, I knew that it would be hard work and that I would face challenges. I never expected that one of my biggest challenges would be coping with the fallout of governmental decision. The impact the current crisis has had on my mental health is exponential. Having to decide whether to pay an invoice or my gas bill was never something I thought I would do. I’d like to think I’m resilient but I struggle now to plan ahead. My customers keep me going but it breaks my heart knowing that they’re struggling too. It’s time Sunak stepped up."
I feel very worried about the rising costs, because there does not seem to be a cap on it. The Government seem out of touch with the reality of how hard this is hitting and the level of anxiety it is causing. I am concerned for the small businesses we support in particular, many of them are family businesses, meaning they are getting hit twice with household and rising business costs and it is the very last thing they needed after the last two years, where a third were already worried about debt.