Our income is £60k a year but my partner still has to work 12 hours a day – government MUST get inflation down further

THE cost-of-living crisis is easing faster than experts had predicted.

Official figures today showed inflation is now at 7.9 per cent – down from 8.7 per cent – thanks mainly to a dip in petrol and diesel prices at the pumps. 

Mum Lucy and partner Daniel earn £61,000 but still work overtime


Mum Lucy and partner Daniel earn £61,000 but still work overtimeCredit: David Hartley

And next month’s stats are expected to be even lower as electricity and gas get cheaper. 

But for millions of families, another drop can’t come quick enough as they struggle to make it to pay day.

And they fear the Bank of England may increase interest rates again in August.

Here, readers on The Sun cost-of-living panel tell Mike Ridley how record inflation has hit their finances.

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‘There’s nothing left. I scour charity shops’

SINGLE mum Jemima Gerrard has three of her four kids still at home in Barnsley. 

She works 34 hours a week in a residential children’s home and earns £1,730 a month after tax.

Mum Jemima has already seen her mortgage nearly treble from £172 to £486 per month


Mum Jemima has already seen her mortgage nearly treble from £172 to £486 per monthCredit: Glen Minikin

Her mortgage has already almost TREBLED from £172 to £486 per month.

She says: “It’s a tracker mortgage and I’m on a variable rate. It’s going up again to £501 on August 28, it’s crazy.

“It cuts into any disposable income so there’s nothing left.

I used to shop in Morrisons but can’t afford to now, so I go to Aldi. I scour charity shops instead of buying expensive clothes.”

Jemima, 38, has been forced to cut back on extras for her children, aged 22, 18, 16 and five.

She moaned of the inflation dip: “It won’t benefit me at all.”

‘Kids call me tight but I’m just skint’

STEVE Durden and his wife Joanna were already in the red when the inflation stats came out. 

The dad of four, 46, of Swanley, Kent, says: “The kids call me tight but I’m not. I just haven’t got the money.”

Dad Steve says he and wife Joanna are in their overdraft every month


Dad Steve says he and wife Joanna are in their overdraft every monthCredit: Supplied

 He earns £48,000 a year as an IT manager and Joanna, 40, gets £9,000 for two days a week as a revenues officer. 

The couple have a £240,000 fixed-rate mortgage until 2025, when they expect monthly repayments to rocket by £700.

Steve says: “We’re in our overdraft every month.”

The food shop for their kids – aged 18, 14, four and two – has risen from £120 a week to £200. 

Steve adds: “That really hurts and energy prices that tripled haven’t helped.

“Nursery fees have gone up and both older kids need new school uniforms. We had to put them on the credit card.” 

‘I’m always short. I have to rely on pals’

TEACHING assistant Sarah Baffoe runs short of cash before pay day and has no idea how she will afford a new school uniform for her 14-year-old daughter Bliss.

The single mum, 54, earns £13,000 a year working 28 hours a week and gets £1,001 a month in Universal Credit, including a housing payment.

Sarah says she's always short of money, and sometimes needs to borrow from friends or family


Sarah says she’s always short of money, and sometimes needs to borrow from friends or familyCredit: Damien McFadden – Commissioned by The Sun

She spends £1,300 a month renting their two-bedroom flat in Barnet, North London.

Sarah says: “Everything has already gone up so much.  Our food bill used to be £70 per week but now it’s nearly £100.

“Reduced inflation doesn’t seem to lower the cost of bills.

“I don’t know how I’ll afford to buy my daughter a new school uniform.

“She will go into year ten but has used the same one since year seven.

“I’m always short of money. Sometimes I need to borrow from friends or family.” 

‘After the food shop there is nothing left’

MUM-of-three Lucy Brown and partner Daniel take all the overtime they can get – but are still overdrawn every month.

Lucy, 37, earns £31,000 as an admin supervisor while Daniel, 43, gets £30,000 from his job in manufacturing.

Their £160,000 fixed-rate mortgage in Thame, Oxon, ends next year and they are “too scared” to check what it will cost then.

Lucy says: “Dan does a lot of extra shifts. At the moment it’s 6am to 6pm every day. We’re already in our overdraft every month.

“Once we’ve done the food shop, there is nothing left. I hate the fact I can’t save.

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“Whenever you think you’re getting somewhere, something will come up, like the car will need fixing.

“It’s good to hear that inflation is coming down but it doesn’t make me feel at all comforted. The damage is already done.”


FINALLY some good news! After more than a year we look like we’re over the worst.

Petrol and diesel costs have dropped by a fifth, which took headline inflation down from 8.7 per cent in May to 7.9 per cent in June.

Experts had said it would stay at 8.2 per cent.

Core inflation — which strips out more volatile food and fuel prices — also fell, from 7.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent.

Last month an unexpected core inflation rise shocked the markets.

Traders had bet the Bank of England would have to keep increasing interest rates, piling on more misery for mortgage holders and borrowers.

So yesterday’s inflation fall is a welcome surprise — it should mean the Bank won’t have to be as aggressive.

Mortgage rates should start coming down within a week.

Experts at Pantheon Economics called it a “watershed moment” and predict the Bank will raise interest rates by just 0.25 per cent, rather than the priced-in 0.50 per cent.

Last week it was expected that rates could peak at 6.75 per cent, but the market now forecasts 5.75 per cent.

We should not get carried away, though. We are still paying more than a year ago.

Our inflation is some two and a half times that of the US, above the Eurozone’s 5.5 per cent and nearly four times the Bank’s two per cent target.

Fewer than a third of people have a mortgage, with a fifth owning outright and the rest renting.

Rents, already at record highs, are rising by 5.1 per cent.

Buy-to-let landlords are passing on higher mortgage costs to tenants or selling up.

But let’s not lose hope. Inflation stats are still slightly warped by Ofgem’s price cap, which is keeping household gas prices more than a third higher than a year ago.

They do not have the same cap in Europe and inflation has fallen more sharply as energy prices have dropped.

As the cap falls below £2,000 towards autumn, inflation will naturally reduce further, giving households, Government and the Bank more breathing room.


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