Nearly 90% of Brits feel that the cost of living crisis is ongoing, despite the Chancellor writing in the Times last week that “the economic picture is far better than many would have you believe”. 

It is expected that Wednesday’s inflation numbers will bring news that the Bank of England’s 2% target has finally been reached, but these numbers do not mirror the public experience according to the Stop the Squeeze campaign who have been campaigning for bolder government action on the crisis.

New research conducted by polling company Focal Data has found that only 9% of the public believe the cost of living crisis has ended, and Stop the Squeeze warns that much of the pain is yet to come with many homeowners yet to remortgage at higher rates, interest rates remaining high, and increasing numbers of households behind on bills. Of those polled, 86% agreed that “there is an ongoing cost of living crisis”.

The campaigners argue that the government should resist the temptation to declare victory on the cost of living, and instead refocus on the widespread struggles faced by families ahead of the election.

The campaign has published a briefing compiling evidence of the ongoing crisis:

Megan Davies from the Stop the Squeeze campaign said:

“Lower inflation doesn’t mean the cost of living crisis is over, in fact for many families things are going to get worse rather than better.

“It’s no use telling people the economy is booming when they are close to going bust, declaring job done will only fuel the sense that the government doesn’t understand how squeezed people are feeling.

“Instead of a victory lap, we need a real cost of living plan for Britain, focused on addressing the root causes of the crisis and getting people’s incomes up and their bills down.”

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“UK households have been hammered by the highest price rises in the G7. So the idea that people should be grateful for easing inflation is for the birds.

“The reason this cost of living crisis has hit families so hard is because wages have flatlined over the last 14 years.

“Pay packets are still worth less today than in 2008, and working people are on course to end this parliament poorer than at the start.

“This a damning indictment of the Tories’ economic record.

“We need a new approach – a proper plan to get wages rising by investing in UK industry. And we need a new deal for working people, so they get a fair share of the wealth they create.”

Dr Silvia Galandini, Oxfam Domestic Poverty Lead said:

“It is both disingenuous and dangerous to equate lower inflation levels with the end of the cost-of-living crisis. While the prices of daily goods are rising less dramatically, they are still too high for many families. 

“Now is not a moment for complacency when poverty rates, including child poverty, are increasing and hardship remains a stark reality for people; particularly those with unpaid caring responsibilities and disabled people.

“This is a time to invest in a caring economy that puts people’s wellbeing at its core, so everyone can live a dignified life, free from poverty.”