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‘One in four skip meals’ amid UK inflation

The cost-of-living squeeze in the United Kingdom has led to two in three people in the country turning off their heating, almost half are driving less or changing supermarkets and just over a quarter say they have skipped meals, a survey indicates.

Among people on lower incomes, one in three people say they have missed meals recently because of the surge in inflation, polling firm Ipsos said on Tuesday.

Concern about inflation is at a 30-year high and most people in the UK expect to see increases in the costs of essentials over the next six months, it said.

“Given the economic forecasts there may well be more anxiety on the horizon,” Gideon Skinner, Ipsos’s head of political research, said.

“This is going to maintain pressure on the government to take more steps to help people through the cost of living crisis.”

Data on Wednesday is expected to show consumer price inflation hit 9.1 per cent in April, according to economists polled by Reuters, and the Bank of England thinks it could exceed 10 per cent later this year.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak has resisted pressure to do more now to address the crisis facing many households.

He says he wants to see the extent of the next increase in household energy tariffs in the northern hemisphere autumn before deciding on further support.

A separate poll by YouGov showed 72 per cent of respondents thought that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was handling the economy badly, almost double the share a year ago.

Ipsos interviewed 2061 people on May 11 and May 12 while YouGov polled 1810 people from May 14 to May 16.

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