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The everyday essentials we’ll be paying more for as the cost of living continues to rise

Here’s everything you need to know



Abhijit Tembhekar / Wikimedia Commons & @glvrdru / Unsplash

As the cost of living in the UK continues to climb at its fastest rate in decades, the price of a number of everyday items and necessities have also been rising. 

While inflation soared to 5.4% – the highest rate since 1992 – last month, the price cap for energy bills is also expected to rise by an estimated 46-56% in April.

Experts have warned that the cost of living will only get higher in the coming months in what has been dubbed a ‘national crisis’, and have urged the government to act ‘immediately’. 

But what exactly will be getting more expensive and why?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Energy bills

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Perhaps the most talked about aspect of the whole crisis is the looming cost of energy bills, which are expected to soar by over 50% in April, adding as much as £600 to the annual cost of the average UK household.

Provider Octopus Energy states that the reason for the price rise is down to the cost of energy being bought on the global markets being three times higher than it was a year ago. Major economies such as the US, China, Europe and India are all believed to be impacted by this price rise.

Read More: Energy bills could rise by 50% unless government intervenes, industry warns

Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has called upon the government to ‘act now’, saying the looming energy crisis will force millions of households to choose between ‘freezing or starving’. 

To combat the rising costs, Lewis has recommended getting a fixed tariff that is no more than 40% above the price cap, improving home insulation, using a smart meter and exploring benefit options if you’re struggling to pay your bills.

Food and clothing

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Supply issues caused by Brexit and the Covid pandemic have resulted in massive price increases for food, groceries and clothing. 

A recent Twitter thread by campaigner Jack Monroe highlighted the cost hike in a number of common supermarket items such as a bag of rice, which cost 45p for kilogram bag last year. Today it’s £1 for 500g, a 344% price increase. Monroe also pointed out that a loaf of bread, which once cost 45p, now costs 58p, which is a price increase of 29%.

The ONS has confirmed that food and drink prices lifted by 4.2% year on year in December, while clothes shops also put up prices by an average 4.2%.

Alternatively, retailer Next warned that prices will rise by as much as 6% by next autumn and winter, while online retailer ASOS said it had increased prices in the ‘low to mid-single digit’ range.

Train Tickets 

While the cost of rail travel has been steadily increasing for the last decade, they’re expected to become even more costly from March 1st, when ticket prices in England will increase by as much as 3.8% – the steepest increase since January 2013.

Increases are normally implemented on the first working day of every year, but have been delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

Read More: Andy Burnham calls out ridiculous price of 15 minute train journey from Manchester

Demand for rail travel is also more than 40% below pre-Covid levels.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has previously called out the rising cost of train journeys in the North, with him last year proposing a set-fare system that would have ‘the potential to elevate’ millions of Northern residents.

Phone and broadband bills

@glvrdru / Unsplash

Thanks to an increase in data usage during the pandemic, the cost of phone and broadband bills are also expected to increase in the coming months.

Provider BT announced a price hike of more than 9% from the end of March for most customers, with those affected paying an extra £3.50 a month – or £42 annually – on average for their phone and broadband bills.

Working from home, online education and increased TV streaming have all increased demands on the company’s network, with a 90% rise in broadband usage since 2018, and a 79% increase on mobile phones since 2019, the company said.

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Liz Truss says British workers need ‘more graft’ and lack ‘skill’ of Chinese workers

She was also heard saying workers outside of London have less productivity



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Conservative leader frontrunner Liz Truss has been criticised after saying British workers need ‘more graft’ and lack the ‘skill and application’ of their foreign counterparts.

Just two weeks on from the backlash surrounding her plan to cut the pay of public sector workers in the north, audio obtained by The Guardian heard Truss discussing the work ethic and attitude of British workers and comparing them to those of foreign workers.

During her discussion, said to have taken place five years ago when she was the chief secretary to the Treasury, Truss could be heard saying: “I once wrote a book about this which got mischaracterised… British workers produce less per hour than … and that’s a combination of kind of skill and application.

“If you look at productivity, it’s very, very different in London from the rest of the country… this has been a historical fact for decades.”

She continued: “Essentially it’s partly a mindset and attitude thing, I think. It’s working culture, basically. If you go to China it’s quite different, I can assure you.

“There’s a fundamental issue of British working culture. Essentially, if we’re going to be a richer country and a more prosperous country, that needs to change… But I don’t think people are that keen to change that.

“There’s a slight thing in Britain about wanting the easy answers. That’s my reflection on the election and what’s gone before it, and the referendum – we say it’s all Europe that’s causing these huge problems, it’s all these migrants causing these problems. But actually what needs to happen is more… more graft.

“It’s not a popular message.”

Number 10 / Flickr

A source from Truss’s team has attempted to downplay the audio, telling The Guardian: “These half-a-decade-old comments lack context but one thing that is as clear today as ever before is a need to boost productivity, which leads to higher wages and a better quality of life for workers right across the UK.

“As prime minister, Liz will deliver an economy that is high wage, high growth and low tax.”

However, when questioned about the audio during a Tory leadership hustings in Perth, Truss appeared to confirm she still believed British workers were not as productive as they should be.

When asked whether she stood by her remarks, Truss said: “I don’t know what you’re quoting there [but] what we need in this country is more productivity and we need more economic growth.”

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Andy Burnham confirms bus fares will be capped at £2 a journey from next month

Passengers aged between sixteen and eighteen will also travel for free under the reform



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Bus fares across Greater Manchester will be capped at £2 a journey and £5 a day from September, Andy Burnham has confirmed today.

In a tweet this morning, the mayor described his announcement as ‘a glimmer of light in tough times’, before revealing the new bus fares will come into force from the first full working week in September.

The fare changes will include:

  • £2 max single fare for adults.
  • £1 max for under-sixteens. 
  • £5/£2.50 unlimited travel in any day.
  • Free travel for passengers aged between sixteen – eighteen.

These new fares will be valid on all routes across Greater Manchester, regardless of the operator. 

In a follow up tweet, Burnham said the cheaper fares will be paid for by ‘more people using buses’, before pointing out that many are ‘a third or half full at the moment’. 

The mayor first unveiled plans to bring Greater Manchester’s buses back under public control in March this year, with a promise to introduce the new fares in 2023 and 2024.

These plans were swiftly fast-tracked and, while the initial plan was for a gradual roll-out across the region, it was then announced that passengers across the whole of Greater Manchester would benefit from the new fares at the same time. 

Burnham previously revealed that the £5 fare will enable passengers to travel from when they buy the ticket until 3.59am the following day, and will be valid for use across various operators. Currently, a daily fare costs £6.40.

However, the maximum £2 for a single journey fare will only work for a single operator, with the London-style ‘Hopper’ fare unveiled in the first announcement currently on hold.

These capped fares come as part of Burnham’s Bee Network vision, which will see Greater Manchester’s public transport system combine trains, trams and buses in an in-sync timetable.

Walking and cycling will also be integrated in an attempt to create a modern, sustainable, and accessible model for the people of Greater Manchester.

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Pop Idol singer Darius Campbell-Danesh dies aged 41





Pop Idol singer Darius Campbell-Danesh has died at the age of forty-one, his family have announced today.

The ‘Colourblind’ singer was found dead in his US apartment in Minnesota on August 11th. The cause of his death is not yet known.

His family said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell-Danesh.

“Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11th and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners’ office.

“The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue.

“We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”

Darius first rose to fame in 2002 as a contestant on the ITV singing contest Pop Idol, with him eventually coming in third place behind Will Young and Gareth Gates.

The Scottish singer achieved number one in the UK later that year with his single ‘Colourblind’, while his album Dive In reached the top ten.

Darius then went on to enjoy a successful career on the stage, with him appearing in ‘Chicago’ as Billy Flynn in two runs of the production, as well as ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Gone With the Wind’ and many more in the West End.

In 2010, he made returned to television by competing in ITV’s Popstar to Operastar, with him eventually winning. 

Darius previously told The Scotsman in 2014 that he was used to overcoming doubts, and always relied on the advice his father gave him as a youngster.

He said: “Anything is possible if you want it enough and if you’re willing to work hard enough at it and if you don’t give up on it. It can seem overwhelming when you set any challenge and I’ve been told many times in my career that things have not been possible.”


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