The cost of the cheapest items in supermarkets increases by up to two thirds

The UK’s most squeezed households are seeing the price they have to pay for some of the cheapest food in the supermarket soar by nearly two-thirds, new data reveals.

The price of the cheapest pasta available to buyers under pressure has risen 60% in the last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The cheapest vegetable oil on supermarket shelves is up 65%.

Statisticians collected more than a million prices from supermarket websites over the past year to compare the cost of the cheapest products available.

It allows them to better understand the impact of the cost of living crisis on the poorest households.

They said the cheapest tea had risen in price by 46%, chips by 39%, bread by 38% and biscuits by 34%.

“While the recent surge in inflation started with energy prices, new insights today using an innovative new data source show that they are now trickling down to other major items, with some staple food prices cheaper. increasing by about two-thirds in the last year. ”, said the national statistician Sir Ian Diamond.

Earlier this year, campaigner Jack Monroe called on the ONS to update the way it measures inflation to better understand what impact rising prices are having on the poorest households.

Some items also dropped in price. Orange juice fell 9% and ground beef fell 7%.

The ONS also published separate data showing that 72% of people with prepaid energy meters have difficulty paying their bills.

A survey also found that seven in 10 (69%) black adults struggle to pay their energy bills, compared to just 44% of white adults. The survey showed that 59% of Asian adults were struggling with energy bills.

Figures show that more than half (55%) of disabled adults reported finding it difficult to pay their energy bills and around a third (36%) found it difficult to pay rent or mortgage payments, compared with 40% and 27% of the non-disabled. people with disabilities respectively.

“The numbers from our near-real-time survey of people show that while increases in food and energy costs are affecting many people across the country, people with disabilities, certain ethnic minorities, and renters are are among those who struggle the most,” Sir Ian said.

“With cost-of-living increases at the forefront of many people’s minds, our new, near-real-time data showing how prices are changing and shedding light on how different groups are affected has never been more important”.

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