West Sussex couple forced to spend £1,000 on fuel for courier work left struggling

Watch: ITV News Meridian's Social Affairs Correspondent reports on the pressures people across the South are facing as costs rise.

Two couriers from West Sussex have spoken of their fear as the price of diesel continues to increase.

Becky and Nick Prior, who are married, drive hundreds of miles each week and have seen their fuel bill double almost overnight.

The couple used to pay around £500 a month for both of their vehicles, but now pay closer to £1000.

Their wages haven't risen to reflect this sudden jump in costs, leaving the family to make cuts to other expenses.

Both work almost daily, leaving them asking what more they can do to survive.

"We're both struggling... it shouldn't be like this in 2022." Becky said.

Watch: Becky and Nick Prior explain the rise in costs they are faced with.

The family no longer uses their tumble dryer or central heatings as both appliances are too expensive to run.

Instead they use a log burning fire to heat their home as it is cheaper to run.

Becky says she has turned to bulk buying food because the price of certain items, she says, seems to keep going up.

They've asked their older children who work to start contributing to costs too, so that bills can be paid on time.

'We just can't afford everything.

"Even the daily running of the car... taking the kids to school or something. We're trying not to make unnecessary journeys.

"We're trying to cut costs down on absolutely everything."

Watch: Becky Prior explains what measures the family is taking to cut expenses.

The Prior's are one of many families who are concerned about the Cost of Living crisis.

One in 16 (6%) people fear being pushed into debt in the next six months, according to an anti-poverty group.

One in 25 (4%) are already in serious debt, the Jubilee Debt Campaign found.

Nearly a fifth (19%) are in moderate debt and a further 26% are not in debt but are concerned about falling into it at some point, according to the poll of more than 2,000 people across Britain in March.

A national insurance hike to help pay for health and social care and rising energy and council tax bills, which comes into force tomorrow (6th April) will put a further squeeze on household budgets this spring.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said last month that households are facing the biggest squeeze in living standards since records started in 1956-57, with inflation potentially reaching a 40-year high of 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022.