Exclusive

Heartbreak before energy price rise: Shadow Chancellor shares cost of living horrors

24 March 2022, 20:06 | Updated: 24 March 2022, 20:32

By Daisy Stephens

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has shared "heartbreaking" stories of her constituents who are unable to afford basic necessities as the cost of living crisis in the UK deepens.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Speaking to LBCs's Iain Dale, Ms Reeves was asked what the biggest threat to the UK's economy is.

"It's the cost of living crisis," she said.

"As a constituency MP the correspondence I'm getting... some of it is heartbreaking, and that's even before the energy price increases that we know we're going to be getting on the 1st of April."

She went on: "I've got mums who are telling me they are skipping meals so that they can provide properly for their kids, pensioners saying 'I'm not turning the hearing on because I'm worried about how I'm going to pay the bills', and also parents who are both in work saying 'when my kids grow out of their shoes and they need new school uniform, we just haven't got the money there'.

Read more: Sunak mocked for filling 'Sainsbury's worker's' Kia and struggling with contactless card

Read more: Tory MPs urge Sunak to cut taxes quicker as living standards set to plummet

"And mum and dad both in work saying that to me.

"So I think for your listeners, for my constituents, for people all over the country on all different sorts of incomes, it's the cost of living that is people's biggest concern right now."

It comes after a mum-of-two called into LBC on Wednesday to put her situation to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Hzul told Mr Sunak she worked three jobs but still could not afford heating - and that she sometimes skipped meals so her children could eat.

"The lights are always off unless absolutely necessary and when it's cold we wear jumpers and coats and sometimes you can see our breaths when we breathe," she said

"Despite working a full time job, I'm having to find ways to bridge the gap... I've started cleaning houses, I spend every evening riding a bike delivering for Uber Eats, I've managed to cut my grocery shop down to just £15 a week for an adult and two children, and I often go without myself to make sure the kids get what they need and they're fed."

Read more: 'Every penny' of increased NI tax will go 'directly' into funding the NHS, Sunak says

Read more: Cuts to fuel, tax and VAT: Spring statement key points at a glance

She asked: "If you're not doing anything, please tell me what else you suggest I can be doing to help myself."

When the call was played to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab on Thursday, he said his "heart goes out" to people like Hzul.

"We know that the spike in inflation is creating really difficult challenges," he said, and added the Government was doing "everything we can" to help.