The cost of living increased sharply across the UK during 2021 and 2022. The annaul rate of inflation reached 11.1% in October 2022, a 41-year high, before easing in subsequent months. It was 10.1% in March 2023, the seventh successive month of double-digit inflation.

The Office for Budget Responsibility expects inflation to slow to 2.9% by Q4 2023, while the Bank of England expects it to slow to around 4%.

The price of food, goods, energy and fuel have been increasing the most, due to high demand from customers and problems with supply chains. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also contributed.

Low-income households are most affected by high food and energy prices. Households have reported cutting back on essential spending. The poorest households report skipping meals or using food banks.

Read all Library briefings on the cost of living

Rising cost of living in the UK

This briefing gives covers rising prices, particularly food, energy and fuel prices, including the effect of the conflict in Ukraine. It explains Government support and how high prices, interest rates and other policies will affect household budgets.

Inflation and the economy

Economic update: GDP Growth stagnant but a slightly more optimistic outlook

This Insight analyses inflation, GDP, and the Spring Budget.

Spring Budget 2023: A summary

This provides a summary of the announcements in the Spring Budget of 15 March 2023 and an overview of the latest economic forecasts.

Background to Spring Budget 2023

This briefing explains the background to the 2023 Spring Budget on 15 March 2023. 

Inflation: Key economic indicators

This briefing provides data on the Consumer Price Index and Retail Price Index inflation indices.

Economic Indicators

Find summaries of the latest UK economic data

UK economy dashboard

This interactive dashboard shows data on economic growth, inflation, trade, employment, government borrowing and debt across the UK.

Energy and fuel prices

Gas electricity prices under the Energy Price Guarantee and beyond

The Energy Price Guarantee sets maximum consumer prices. These have not fallen despite generally lower wholesale prices from autumn 2023. This briefing looks at why this is and when can we expect prices to fall?

Constituency dashboard: fuel poverty

This dashboard provides data on fuel poverty by constituency and small area for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Constituency casework: Government support for energy bills

This briefing provides a guide to reliable sources of information to help answer common questions on new government support for energy bills introduced in 2022.

Energy prices bill 2022-23

This briefing provides analysis of the Energy Prices Bill which includes provisions to reduce energy costs for consumers by capping energy bills and reducing wholesale electricity prices.

Energy Bills Support Scheme: Government policy and FAQs

The Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme will provide a £400 discount on electricity bills to help households with the rising cost of energy. This briefing summarises the policy, first announced in February and updated in May and July 2022.

Imports of fossil fuels from Russia

This briefing provides statistics on UK energy imports from Russia.

Fuel poverty in the UK

This briefing looks at how fuel poverty varies across the UK, policies to address fuel poverty, and stakeholder comments.

Domestic energy prices

This briefing looks at how and why household energy prices have changed since 2010.

Petrol and diesel prices

This briefing looks at how and why prices of petrol and diesel have changed since 1989.

The effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on prices

The effect of the war in Ukraine on UK farming and food production

This debate pack discusses how the Ukraine conflict is affecting UK food prices.

Support for households with increasing cost of living

Cost of Living Payments: Overview and FAQs

This briefing provides an overview of the rules and payment arrangements for Cost of Living Payments, and answers frequently asked questions on this topic.

The council tax rebate: How will it work?

This outlines who is eligble for the council tax rebate and when and how it will be paid. It also outlines Scottish and Welsh schemes.

The Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill 2022-23

This briefing paper discusses the Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill 2022-23, introduced in the House of Commons on 15 June 2022, which gained Royal Assent on 28 June 2022.

Department for Work and Pensions spending on the cost of living support

This briefing provides background information on the rising cost of living and covers the Department for Work and Pensions’ spending plans to support households.

How rising prices are affecting households

Household debt: statistics and impact on economy

This briefing provides statistics and forecasts for household debt, the impact of the cost of living and analysis on how debt effects the economy.

Poverty in the UK: statistics

This briefing provides levels and rates of poverty in the UK, including how the rising cost of living is affecting people in poverty.

Food poverty: Households, food banks and free school meals
This paper provides statistics on household food insecurity, food bank usage and free school meals in the UK, and tracks the impact of rising prices.

Food banks

This briefing provides statistics from the Trussell Trust and the Independent Food Aid Network on the number of food banks and food bank use. It also looks at the effect of the rising cost of living on foodbanks.

The impact of high inflation on benefit claimants

This insight explains how high inflation reduces the value of benefits in real terms. It also explore the extent to which the Government’s Cost of Living Payments will change households’ monthly incomes.

Food bank demand and the rising cost of living

This Insight explains the effect of rising cost of living on food banks and the people who use the

Rent and housing costs

Housing and the cost of living

This paper considers the impact of inflation on rent and mortgage payments and the Government response.

What is affordable housing?

This briefing discusses the affordability of private renting and home ownership, and the supply of affordable housing.

The rent safety net: Changes since 2010

This briefing covers the savings made through changes to Housing Benefit and the Universal Credit housing cost element since 2010, as well as the impact of these policies and the debates on them.

Constituency data: House prices

This dashboard provides constituency-level data on house prices and shows the affordability of house prices in each area in England and Wales.

Rail fares and transport costs

How much could rail fares increase by in 2023, and why?

This Insight looks at why and by how much rail fares will increase in 2023

Mobile and broadband costs

Mobile and broadband: affordability and consumer protection

This briefing looks at affordability issues and consumer protection measures in the telecommunications market. Section 3 discusses affordability, including social tariffs and inflation-linked price increases. Section 5 covers how service providers should treat vulnerable customers and customers in debt.


How is the rising cost of living affecting students?

This Insight considers how students are being affected by rising rent and food prices.

Cost of living support for students

This constituency casework article sets out what support is available to students across the UK to help with their living costs.

The value of student maintenance support

This briefing looks at recent levels of public maintenance support for students in England, how these compare to inflation and whether the overall level of support is adequate.

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