[UK, 22/11/2022] Rising Consumer Price Index
UK inflation continues to be high, with food prices being the largest upward contributing factor. In the 12 months leading up to August 2021, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 13.1 per cent, which is 0.4 percentage points higher than July's rate and the highest since 2008.
Several factors, such as robust customer demand and constrained supply chains, have increased consumer goods prices.
Energy prices also increased inflation as household energy tariffs and petrol costs rose. A 96 per cent increase in domestic gas prices was noted between September 2021 and September 2022. Gas prices rose to record levels after Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine. They continued to climb during most of 2022 because of Russia's supply cuts. Since electricity rates are linked to gas prices, they've had a similar trend.
The increasing consumer price index affected students who struggled to survive. This situation comes as government support has not kept up with the rising costs, creating a financial burden on students. Universities expressed concern over the growing financial pressure many students face and the need to obtain more paid work to meet these expenses.
The situation has put immense strain on students. Not only are they dealing with fewer resources, but their education and well-being are affected. Their studies are disrupted, their mental health declines and their future career prospects can suffer.
The amount of money university students receive from the government for their living costs – including rent – varies depending on household income. This year, students living away from home can expect to receive anywhere from £4,524 to £9,706 if they live outside of London. In London, that number is from £6,308 to £12,677.
Even though year's loans only have an interest rate of 2.3 per cent higher than last year, the loan cost is still far below the current inflation rate of 10 per cent.
A Department of Education spokesperson said maintenance loans increase yearly to support students with living costs. Disadvantaged students also have higher cash amounts. If any students are worried, the department suggests contacting their university about available support systems. The universities can draw up to £261m from Office for Students funds as needed.
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