Families are braced for a financial nightmare this spring thanks to soaring food and energy bills and a planned increase in National Insurance.
Inflation in store prices nearly doubled to 1.5% last month, the highest level in nearly a decade, according to British Retail Consortium data.
Grocery costs are growing even faster, with consultants Kantar predicting a £180 annual increase in grocery bills.
It is not uncommon for many families to feel anxious about their future. And in our poorest towns and cities – where thousands have spread – the impending crisis could be devastating.
The “Upgrade” policies proposed by the Government – announced yesterday by Michael Gove – are supposed to help places like Bradford, where, according to a report last year, a third of children live in poverty. hungry.
We talk to people from this Yorkshire city about how they see their future. . .
New dad Baby Zahoor is enjoying some rare time with his family. He, and partner Afia Khatoon, push a trolley through Bradford’s City Park. Not only is Baber busy with his new baby, but he recently took up a SECOND job in anticipation of the rising cost of living.
A 34-year-old civil servant told us: “I was so worried about everything that was about to happen, I took another job at a supermarket.”
Afia, 32, also a civil servant and mother of four, said: ‘We spent more on petrol and £10 more a week on supermarket shopping. It all adds up. It’s worrisome.”
That is the feeling that permeates this West Yorkshire city of more than half a million people, where, according to figures released two weeks ago, 25,000 people are unemployed.
Wayne Nagyvardi, a painter and decorator, is also worried. He has a new child to support with partner Dominika Rymska, 38. “It’s a worry, especially as heating bills and gas prices have skyrocketed, and so have food prices,” said Wayne, 39.
“We can’t afford to pay more for everything. You have to plan ahead to see if you can afford it.”
In the heart of the city, amid a row of shops springing up and a high-rise that will bring new market development, care assistant Lee Sutcliffe tells us he’s heard more than one story from you. friends about their inability to keep warm. their houses.
“I have seen my bills go up,” he said. A lot of my friends can’t afford their gas and electricity bills.”
Through the pandemic, the nation has become much more aware of the vital work done by care workers, who earn between £16,000 and £18,000 a year on average.
However, Lee now has to wait for the bus to get home after a 12-hour shift because he can’t earn enough money to drive.
“My car insurance has run out and I can’t afford it, so now I have to take the bus,” he said. This service is not reliable. “
Indeed, traffic is one of the main concerns in Bradford. In his long-awaited white paper, US Secretary of State Michael Gove promised “better local transport, bringing the rest of the country closer to London’s transit standards.”
That’s something forklift driver Hossein Tahanon, 47, has been frustrated with since moving to Bradford from Newcastle – and the unreliable service is giving him headaches.
The father of three came from Allerton, a village three miles from the city center.
“In Newcastle it is very easy to get around because you have the Metro light rail service,” he said. I use the bus here and it’s always late. They say there are not enough drivers. They are not paid enough so they leave to work elsewhere to earn more money.
“The bus from Allerton to Bradford is never on time so I end up looking for a taxi, which is very expensive.”
Councilor Rebecca Poulsen, leader of the Conservative Group at Bradford Council, agrees that traffic is one of the biggest problems in the area.
“If you are in the countryside and the bus ends at seven, your options are limited if you have to rely on public transport,” she said.
The Level Up white paper promises 12 missions, to be followed by law, to help neglected communities.
Commitments include improving education in deprived areas, strengthening home ownership, addressing health inequalities and rejuvenating town centres.
Bradford residents are hoping it will be one of 20 urban areas that will be transformed through an ambitious regeneration project.
The city has much to offer including the National Science and Media Museum, the Alhambra Theatre, which opened in 1914, and a new music and events venue, Bradford Live, which will open in Last year.
‘RAIL SERVICE OPERATION IN BRITAIN’
But despite this, people still say it is Leeds’ “lesser cousin”.
Investment has poured into neighboring West Yorkshire, where the banking and technology sectors have been joined by the New Corporation north of Channel 4.
Meanwhile, plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail high-speed rail running from Hull to Liverpool, via Bradford, were canceled in December.
Naz Shah, Labor MP for Bradford West, said: “We are the biggest city without a railway. We have the worst rail service in the UK. We don’t even have an outer ring road. You look at cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, they have outer and inner ring roads.”
Bradford may have a Broadway mall, which opened in 2015, but the loss of Debenhams has come as a blow. In the neighboring streets, there were too many shops standing empty.
“We need shops here,” said Mrs. Christine Smith, 77, a retired carpet patcher. It’s been like this for ten years or so. Places open but rate is too high and they close again. Broadway didn’t bring people back to Bradford. Debenhams is a traction but nothing for the likes of us there. “
At Blooms on Market Street, owner Ann Fawcett is arranging a beautiful bouquet for a client. Ann opens her store in 2020 and will welcome a downtown revitalization program and hopes more independent stores will open as well.
‘WE NEED SHOES HERE’
“We need to attract more people to the city, especially after Covid,” she said. We need it to be more local. It would be nice to have more stores like mine.
“Bradford needs to be reborn. It always loses to Leeds, but it is a great place at a time, especially given the wool industry here. “
It is businesses like hers that will make Bradford thrive again. But they need to be able to survive.
“Import taxes are high,” Ann said. Flower prices skyrocketed. The money we spent on fuel went all the way through the roof. “
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Ann is delighted that the city of Bradford can finally get some love from the Government. But that love also needs to be spread to the people living and working there.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4600419/cost-of-living-crisis-fuel-bills-expensive/ I had to abandon my car because the fuel was too expensive