Londoners open up about impact of cost-of-living crisis

·2 min read

As the cost of living continues to surge, struggling households are having to take drastic measures to keep their finances in check.

As inflation hit a 40-year record of 10.1%, the PA news agency spoke to people in west London about how they are coping.

– George Okafor, 45, said he had to move his family of six out of London to Gravesend, Kent, as the rent was getting too high.

The security guard said: “My bills have tripled. I had to take out loans, pay them back and take out new ones. A lot of things add up. I had to cut down a lot. Before I get to my pay day, all money is already gone.”

Mr Okafor earns £1,600-1,800 a month and, before the move, £1,400 went to his landlord.

He said: “The rent is too high. More affordable housing would go a long way in making this better.”

– Catherine Donovan, 47, has three children and had to return to her job as a solicitor.

The mother from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said: “We couldn’t afford to live on one salary. The rent has doubled and our bills have tripled.

“Money won’t stretch anymore, even with me working now. The money is gone before it goes into the account.

“Something should change, as you can only work so much and you still need to pay your bills.”

– Dawn Davies, 60, a public health specialist from Wales, who was in London for work, said: “Our bills have gone up. Electricity and gas cost more.

“Things have changed. I prioritise things to make it through the winter.

“Food prices have gone up and I look for more affordable options; same with the heating before the winter comes.”

– Max Bibbs, 21, an engineer living in Kingston-upon-Thames, west London, said: “I noticed inflation when paying for food, fuel and bills. Everything costs way too much.

“70% of my salary is spent on rent and bills. I’m worried it’s going to rise more.

“I’m worried the pay is not going up and I can’t afford things.”

– Daniel Watt, 22, a student living in south London with his grandfather, said: “The inflation on rent is not affecting me too much because I live with my grandpa.

“Food is more expensive, as milk used to be £1.10 for a pint and it’s now £1.95. And the same with meal deals, which used to be £3 and are now £3.50.

“The Government should fix it, but I don’t really know how.”

– Mark Defoe, 61, a gas engineer from central London, said: “The cost-of-living crisis and inflation are not affecting me at the moment, but I think it’s still a great concern.

“I’m doing a lot better than most.”