Poorest UK households face biggest jump in inflation

The poorest tenth of UK households witnessed the sharpest jump in the cost-of-living last month, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the gap between inflation faced by the poorest and wealthiest UK households widened to the largest since the financial crisis in 2009.

It came as statisticians revealed Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation of 11.1% in October for the country, jumping to a 41-year-high from 10.1% the previous month.

UK inflation rate to Oct 2022 by income level
(PA Graphics)

The jump was driven by higher energy bills and more expensive food, which essentials such as milk and pasta leaping in price.

In a separate report based on the data, the ONS said these increases were weighing particularly heavily on the poorest in society.

The poorest 10% of households were hit by a 12.5% rise in their living costs for the month.

Meanwhile, the richest 10% of households experienced inflation of 9.6% in October.

The ONS highlighted that the gap is largely driven by increases in energy and food costs as poorer households spent “a greater proportion of their expenditure” on these compared with the top tenth.

Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Everyone in Britain is affected by double digit inflation – which has caused pay packets to shrink at record rates.

“But some groups are more affected than others, and Britain now has a significant cost-of-living gap between rich and poor households.

“Rising energy bills and rapid food prices mean that low-income households now face an effective average inflation rate of around 12.5%, while in the cold winter months, the over-80s are already facing inflation rates of around 15.3%.

“This shows why the Chancellor needs to protect vulnerable households through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis when he sets out his autumn statement.”