Britons suffering through the cost of living crisis are almost four times as worried about their gas and electricity bills than anything else, new research has suggested.
Social trend figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday showed almost six in 10 (58%) people who have reported an increase in the cost of living said they are most worried about an increase in their gas and electricity bills.
It compares to 15% who said they were most worried about fuel price increases, and 14% most concerned about food bills.
Last month, due to record increases in global gas prices, Ofgem raised its price cap by 54%, causing the average energy bill to rise £693 from £1,277 to £1,971.
It doesn’t end there, however, with the price cap once again expected to rise in October.
In March, chancellor Rishi Sunak 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.
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However, this has been widely criticised as not going far enough and Sunak himself has recently hinted the government will need to provide further help in October.
In the wider context, inflation is also at a 30-year high of 7%, with warnings from the Bank of England it could surge to 10% by the time the next price cap rise comes into force.
Friday’s ONS release also showed the number of Britons buying less food due to soaring inflation has increased over the past month.
The survey, taken between 27 April and 8 May, showed 41% of adults reported cutting back on their grocery shop due to rising costs, an increase on 39% in the previous survey carried out earlier in April.
It comes as Ipsos research released earlier this week also suggested 40% of Britons expect their standard of living to fall a little or a lot, compared to 41% who expect it to stay the same.