More than four in five Britons are concerned about the rising cost of living and whether they will be able to afford basic necessities such as food and energy in the coming months, a new survey shows.
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LONDON – A quarter of Britons have taken the practice of skipping meals as inflationary pressures and a worsening food crisis are conflated, which the Bank of England recently dubbed a “doomsday” prospect for consumers.
In the UK, more than four in five people are concerned about the rising cost of living and whether they will be able to afford basic necessities such as food and energy in the coming months, According to a new survey released Tuesday.
In a survey of 2,000 Britons by Ipsos and Sky News, 89% said they were concerned about how the cost of living crisis would affect the country as a whole in the next six months, while 83% were concerned about their personal circumstances .
While the situation was broadly similar across the country, those on lower wages were more concerned, with more than half of those earning less than £20,000 ($25,000) saying they were “very worried” about how they would make ends meet this year. This compares to two in five earning £55,000 or more.
On Tuesday, a major UK caterer said separately that schools were now facing a “difficult decision” on whether to Reduce meal size Or use lower-quality ingredients when prices are soaring.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Monday that rising prices and food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine were a real concern in Britain and many other parts of the world.
“There is a lot of uncertainty about this situation,” Bailey told the Finance Committee in the House of Commons.
“I’m sorry to throw you into the end of the world for a while, but it’s a major issue,” he said.
Bailey added that these external factors will outweigh any recent or upcoming rate hikes. The central banker, who has raised interest rates four times in a row since December, dismissed suggestions from concerned policymakers. should have acted sooner to quell inflation.
UK retailer Marks & Spencer Food price inflation could soar further to 10% by the end of the year, it warned on Tuesday.
“It’s no surprise to see food prices go up to 8-10% over the course of the year,” Archie Norman, chairman of the premium food brand, told BBC radio on Tuesday. “Some people have gone through it now, but there’s still a lot to do.”
However, Norman added that Bailey’s use of the term “doomsday” was too harsh given broader economic factors such as wage growth. “I wouldn’t use the term doomsday, certainly not for our customers,” he said.
Concerns about food shortages have grown in recent months as the war in Ukraine has exacerbated existing food supply chain problems.
Ukraine, seen as “Europe’s Granary” Cereals, fertilizers and vegetable oils cannot be exported during the conflict, while ongoing fighting has destroyed farmland and disrupted normal harvests.
MHP, Ukraine’s largest chicken producer and exporter and a major supplier of grains and sunflower oil, said on Tuesday that the current situation amounted to an agricultural crisis.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” MHP executive chairman and industry veteran John Richie told CNBC.
“We have Covid, we have war, we have China Covid zero policy — which makes freight nearly impossible — and we have climate change. All of which, quite frankly, has exacerbated a non-functional global supply chain system, “He said.
The U.S. and European Union said over the weekend that they were studying how to Improve the food supply chain and browse export restrictions.
Earlier, India announced on Saturday a Wheat export ban “Managing the nation’s overall food security”. Meanwhile, Indonesia earlier imposed restrictions on exports of palm oil, a key ingredient in many food products, to curb food shortages at home.