Parents of young children in Norfolk voice fears for future as cost of living soars

  • Families have been explaining the pressures on them to ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell

Parents of young children have opened up on their fears that they may not be able to cope with the rising cost of living, as new figures showed that 90% of households are already feeling the impact of higher prices.

Nine out of ten adults said their household costs had gone up and a quarter of households said they would struggle to pay for fuel and food, and will have to rely on credit cards and loans, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures only go up to March and so do not include the impact of this month's energy price cap rise or the hike in National Insurance contributions.

Parents at a baby group in Taverham in Norfolk told ITV News Anglia about how they are already making sacrifices to make ends meet.

Childminder Natasha said she had had to put up her prices as her energy bills had doubled.

She said: "It's quite scary. My eldest is due to start school in September. I'm already thinking about the cost of uniforms."

Mum Vicky said: "I think it's always in the back of your mind. What bill is going to come through next?

"The gas and electric - we don't know what we're going to pay. You never know what might drop through the door."

Another parent said: "The government could do a lot more. They're putting up taxes. I just got a pay rise. It was an extra £100 on top of my wages but out of that £100, £60 of it is going to tax and National Insurance."

Bosses at The Edge Cafe in Cambridge, an organisation that distributes free food, said that in recent months the number needing support had increased dramatically.

Many of the new referrals are working people who had never have thought they would rely on charity.      

Cafe manager Sarah Dickinson said: "We try to encourage people to not feel embarrassed about coming here. There's people on site - we're on a hospital site - who will come and get things before they come home.

"It's always shocked me, throughout Covid, how people you wouldn't think you'd see here are having to come here."

The government says it was working hard to ease the burden on families, but critics say it is not enough.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for an emergency budget and a windfall tax on energy firms.

In a statement, the government said it was renewing efforts to raise awareness of the "strong package" of assistance already on offer, from which it said thousands may be missing out.

"High levels of public debt following the unprecedented support provided during the pandemic, together with rising inflation and interest rates, mean we must maintain control of the public finances rather than burden future generations with higher debt," it said.