UK Policy Briefings
The gendered impact of the cost-of-living crisis
Date Posted: Friday 18th March 2022
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are facing a major cost-of-living crisis. Experts have warned that the monthly inflation peak this spring could be as high as the 8.4% reached in 1991, and that prices in 2022/23 will be up 7.6% from 2021/22, higher than the Bank of England forecast of 7% in February.
Although some of the forecast increase in prices is the result of supply chain bottlenecks, sharp energy price increases, and more recently the war in Ukraine, it is important to remember that this is also a crisis of incomes. Over a decade of austerity policies, low wage rises and cuts to social security have left many people in poverty. While the richest households saved money during the pandemic, the poorest fell further into debt, with no cushion to cope with rising prices now.
In our first briefing on the cost-of-living, we set out why its impact will be gendered and what government needs to do to better support women in managing the crisis, including urgent repair of the fabric of our benefits system.