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The government “doesn’t take the cost of living crisis seriously”

Written by Javed Iqbal

Mrs Truss has promised an emergency budget to tackle the crisis, while Mr Sunak has insisted he will “seize” the issue.

Among the eight members of the focus group, all of whom voted Conservative in 2019, Ms Truss was seen with the candidate who is more “for people like us”.

Tracy, a housing officer from the West Midlands said: “I have noticed it the milk price. We use the semi-skimmed, but my grandson, who lives with us, is lactose intolerant. Her dairy free products are increasing by a ridiculous amount. We probably spend twice as much now than we used to.”

Kerrie, a school receptionist from Manchester, said she had noticed an increase in the price of fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables and fish. Supermarket reductions, which previously brought items down to 99p, are now £1.30 “and it probably costs around 30 to 40 per cent more every week at a food shop”, she said.

Ben, a father-of-two who lives in West Yorkshire and works in IT, says: “The general food shop is going up a lot … by around £40 a week. Utility bills are going up astronomically, as well as fuel costs for our cars. Everything seems to go up.”

Sonny, who works for a ship repair company in Portsmouth, said: “My gas and electric [bill] has risen from £100 a month to £180 a month. I’ll have to work more and just keep an eye on the pennies a little more.”

He and Leon are far from alone in taking on extra work to cope with rising costs, or planning to do so this fall. “I do private tutoring alongside my main job because it’s a good way to get a bit of extra income,” said Katie, a 28-year-old teacher in East Anglia.

Jos, a mobile cleaner from Portsmouth said she “rarely got luxury anyway” but has sold some possessions to make ends meet.

Tracy, the housing officer from the West Midlands, said: “I’ve actually turned off all my heating and also ditched the tumble dryer … I made a bit of money from it. I also charge my phone at work.”

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Javed Iqbal

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