Cost of living latest: 'Real pressure cooker situation' as emergency food parcels rise; first-time buyers face paying additional £220,000 (2023)

Key points
  • 'Real pressure cooker situation' as emergency food parcels rise
  • First-time buyers face paying additional £220,000
  • Salmon is set to become more expensive - here's why
  • Your dilemmas: My boss is refusing me paternity leave - what are my rights?
  • Budgeting Mum: Do food subscriptions save you money?
  • Money-saving hacks: Weddings| Cheaper flights| For parents
  • Live reporting by Bhvishya Patel


First-time buyers taking out long-term mortgages face paying additional £220,000

First-time home buyers taking out long-term mortgages face paying an additional £220,000 over the course of their loan in order to get onto the property ladder, The Telegraph reports.

Earlier this week, experts reported a growing trend for loans spread over up to 40 years as first-time buyers and movers opt for lower monthly payments.

In a bid to balance the rising cost of living and high asking prices for houses,the number of first-time buyers opting for a mortgage term longer than 35 years more than doubled to 17% in 2022, The Guardian reported.

The number taking out a loan over the course of 30 to 35 years also increased – from 34% to 38% – during the same period, according to the banking group UK Finance.

However, by extending the life of their mortgages, buyers are also gambling thousands of pounds to additional interest payments, data now shows.

Analysis carried out by broker Private Finance, which assumes the interest rate remains at 4.5%, shows that if a buyer were to borrow £450,000 over 40 years, they would pay back around £972,000 - this figure is around £221,000 more than they would have paid over a shorter term.

Speaking on the data, Chris Sykes of Private Finance, told The Telegraph that those paying a mortgage off over a longer period would ultimately be "paying more interest".


'Real pressure cooker situation' as emergency food parcels see unprecedented rise

Nearly three million emergency food parcels have been handed to food banks in the year to March, figures from the Trussell Trust charity show.

The figures from the charity represent a 37% increase compared to the previous year, with the number provided for children topping a million for the first time.

Data shows a total of 2,986,203 emergency food parcels were given out between April 2022 and March this year - the most parcels food banks in the charity's UK-wide network have ever distributed in a single year.

(Video) China's Cost Of Living Crisis| U.K USA | Condo Tour

The number is more than double the amount distributed by food banks in the same period five years ago, the charity said.

Some 1,139,553 parcels were distributed for children, up from 835,879 the previous year and a rise from less than 500,000 in the 2017-2018 year.

The charity said the level of need was greater than during the first year ofthe pandemic, and that there was a particularly high demand in December, with a parcel being distributed by staff and volunteers across the country every eight seconds.

The Trussell Trust said the problem is "not a regionalised issue", with an increase of at least 28% in each area of the UK - with the highest being in the north east of England, which saw a 54% rise in the number of parcels being distributed compared to the previous year.

Brian Thomas, chief executive at South Tyneside Foodbank, said the "unprecedented rise" in food bank users coupled with food donations not keeping up has led to a "real pressure cooker situation".


Chancellor blames 'eye-watering sums' spent on pandemic and energy bills support for hike in public sector borrowing

The chancellor has blamed the "eye-watering sums" spent on helping people through the coronavirus pandemic and energy crisis for an increase in public sector borrowing.

Public sector net borrowing was £21.5bn last month - the second-highest March borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in energy prices, which was worsened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Read more on this story here:


HMRC collected nearly 10% more tax last year

Around £787bn in taxes was collected by HM Revenue and Customs in 2022-23 - 9.9% more than the previous year.

Collections from income tax, capital gains tax and National Insurance contributions accounted for 57% of annual receipts, provisional HMRC records show.

Inheritance tax receipts also grew by £1bn, reaching £7.1bn in 2022-23.

We're a few weeks into the new tax year that started on 6 April.

Usually we see personal tax allowances rise slightly each year in line with inflation, but this time, the threshold - set at £12,570 - has remained frozen.

It means more people could be dragged into paying a higher amount of tax as earnings rise.

(Video) Will My Family Become Homeless? | Repossessed (Cost Of Living Documentary) | Real Families


Tax credits renewal packs to be sent out early next month

People claiming tax credits are set to receive their annual renewal packs from early May, HM Revenue and Customs has said.

The packs for the 2023-24 tax year will be sent out between 2 May and 15 June.

Tax credits are payments from the government to support people who care for children, disabled workers, and those on low incomes.

More than 500,000 claimants will need to respond to HMRC by the deadline to confirm their circumstances - or risk having their payments stopped.

Once the renewal pack is received, people will have until 31 July to check the information is correct.

What else do I need to know?

  • There are two types of renewal packs - one which has a red line across the first page saying "reply now" - whoever receives this will need to confirm their circumstances to renew tax credits;
  • The other has a black line saying "check now" - if you receive this pack, you will need to check the details are correct. If they are, you don't need to do anything, your tax credits will auto-renew;
  • You can renew your tax credits free of charge via or the HMRC app;
  • Renewal packs will be sent out in batches - HMRC says people who have not received theirs should wait until after 15 June before making contact;
  • Tax credits will be replaced by Universal Credit by the end of next year.
(Video) How Will Families Deal With Cost Of Living Increases? | Bust (Poverty Documentary) | Real Families


Radiographers in England to ballot for strike action

Radiographers are to be balloted for strike action after rejecting a pay offer from the government.

A consultative ballot by the Society of Radiographers (SoR) on a proposed 5% pay rise this year and a cash payment for last year ended today.

Members working within the NHS in England voted 80% against the offer, saying they wanted to be formally balloted for strikes.

The union, which represents the diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy workforce, said 65% of its members took part in the ballot.

SoR is urging the government to reopen negotations and come back with a "significantly" better offer to avoid strike action, which it says would lead to "massive disruption" throughout the system.

Leandre Archer, SoR head of industrial relations, said: "Our members have spoken, and it is quite clear that they will not accept another pay cut in real terms.

"The latest offer, which is less than half of inflation, does nothing to deal with the increasing pressure of the cost of living crisis they are currently experiencing and will further exacerbate the ongoing radiography recruitment and retention crisis."


Fed up of spending on jeans that fit awkwardly? One shop might have the answer

Online fashion store Zalando is piloting a new "virtual fitting room" in a bid to improve the experience of online shoppers.

Using a virtual 3D avatar, customers will be able to see how jeans will fit them before they arrive in the post.

Shoppers are asked to enter their height, weight and sex to create the avatar.

They will then be able to virtually try on a range of 22 different types of jeans - which Zalando says are "the most challenging categories in terms of finding the right size".

A heatmap will even indicate where the item sits tight or loose on the avatar.

(Video) Food poverty on the Tyne

The retailer has previously run two pilots with selected clothing items from Puma and Zalando's private label Anna Field.


Charities in parliament to tell MPs what should be done

The Food Foundation and consumer champion Which? are in parliament today to urge MPs to take action over the desperate situations some people are facing.

Which?'s "Affordable Food for All" campaign calls on supermarkets to commit to clear pricing, better access to budget ranges with healthy options and more offers for people most in need.

Separately, the Food Foundation wants the government to appoint a dedicated food insecurity minister, as well as expand nutritional safety net schemes such as free school meals and the Healthy Start initiative.


Your dilemmas: My boss is refusing me paternity leave - what are my rights?


I was in a job for 10 years and paid all my taxes. Left when my partner was two weeks pregnant. Started a new job two months later and now being told I'm not due statutory paternity pay?

Megan Baynes, social affairs and health reporter says:

Statutory pay means you can take up to two weeks off around the birth of your child, but there are a few eligibility criteria you have to hit first, so it is worth double checking you hit all of the following:

  • You are classed as an employee on your contract;
  • Earn at least £123 a week;
  • Have given the correct notice (at least 15 weeks before the baby is expected);
  • Been continuously employed by the company/employer for at least 26 weeks up to the date of the birth.

Just doing some quick maths, if you left your old job when your partner was two weeks pregnant and started a new job roughly eight weeks later, you would have started when she was 10 weeks pregnant.

Given the average pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks - give or take - by the time your partner gives birth, you should have been in the job for roughly 30 weeks. Allowing for me to have got the time frames slightly wrong, you should therefore be entitled to paternity pay.

Are they trying to say you didn't give them enough notice? As long as you told them by week 25 of the pregnancy, again you should qualify.

(Video) The Year Ahead 2023: Counting The Cost Of Inflation | Singapore

I would speak to your employer and find out exactly why they are saying you don't qualify and make sure you show them you have hit the above criteria. Remember, this is a legal government requirement so provided you told them on time, and earn above the minimum amount, they legally have to give it you.

You can find out more information from Citizen's Adviceor contact the Acas helpline.


1. Sell the Rate Hike? | Bloomberg Surveillance 04/21/23
(Bloomberg Television)
2. Skyrim Analysis | A Quick Retrospective - Act 1
3. GRWM | Budgeting For Law School | How much is too much debt???
(Rebecca Spraggins)
4. How The Pandemic Has Changed The Market | Coffee With The Johns S02E01
(An Investors Journey)
5. Goldman Sachs CEO | Bloomberg Surveillance 12/06/2022
(Bloomberg Television)
6. Board AF 2022 Marathon
(Smosh Games)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated: 11/12/2023

Views: 6472

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.