The cost of living crisis is “humiliating” working people who are left relying on charities to get basic essentials like toothpaste, a poverty charity has said.
Helen Barnard, associate director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, accused chancellor Rishi Sunak of failing to prioritise those “facing the greatest hardship”.
She said his raising of the National Insurance threshold, a measure designed to help lower earners, actually harms some of them as their benefits are pulled away to make up for the fact they are keeping more of their income.
“We know the majority of people in poverty now are in working households,” Barnard told Sky News on Sunday.
“One of the problems is that too many jobs are not just low paid, but they’re insecure.
“And so it is people who are really vulnerable in that situation when they’re working, who are also now struggling to afford the basic essentials and having to rely on charities for toothpaste and toilet rolls.
“It’s humiliating for a lot of people.”
As inflation skyrockets, food, energy and travel costs have dramatically increased - causing an unprecedented crisis for millions of people.
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Sunak last month announced a package of support including a £200 up-front rebate on energy bills from October – though this will have to be repaid over five years from 2023 – plus a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D effective this month.
However, this has been widely criticised as not going far enough.
The crisis is so acute that MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis warned the UK is “not very far off” civil unrest.
Lewis, the popular TV personality who is considered one of the most trusted people in public life, told the : “When breadwinners cannot provide, anger brews and civil unrest brews – and I do not think we are very far off.”
According to the latest UK economic outlook report from PwC, British households are set to be £900 worse off this year in a “historic fall” in living standards.