The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed today that UK inflation has risen to 9% amid the growing cost of living crisis.
This is the highest it has been for 40 years.
The data released by the ONS today showed prices hiked across a broad range of everyday goods and services during April, but almost three-quarters of this inflation rise was said to be accounted for by the unprecedented 54% increase in the energy price cap – which kicked in at the start of the month.
Millions of people across the UK saw an unprecedented £693-a-year rise in energy costs last month when the a higher energy price cap was introduced.
The energy price cap – which is the mechanism that outlines the maximum amount that companies can charge to provide energy – has been credited with protecting around 22 million UK households from the worst of the price hikes after COVID-19 restrictions were eased and the war in Ukraine pushed up wholesale gas prices.
The cap also prevented companies from passing on unprecedented increases to their customers.
But the average bill rose by 54%, or £693 annually, from April to £1,971, and the latest forecasts suggest bills could rise to almost £2,600 in October when the next price cap adjustment is due.
Record high prices for both petrol and diesel were other major factors in the inflation rise.
Speaking on the price hikes, Grant Fitzner – Chief Economist at the ONS – said: “Inflation rose steeply in April, driven by the sharp climb in electricity and gas prices as the higher price cap came into effect.
“Around three-quarters of the increase in the annual rate this month came from utility bills… [and] steep annual rises in the cost of metals, chemicals and crude oil also continued, along with higher prices for goods leaving factory gates,” he added.
“This was driven by increases for food products, transport equipment and metals, machinery and equipment.”
The Bank of England has also released updated forecasts earlier this month that suggest inflation will top 10% later this year.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the government “stands ready to take further action” in response to the rise in inflation, explaining in a statement today: “Countries around the world are dealing with rising inflation [and] today’s inflation numbers are driven by the energy price cap rise in April, which in turn is driven by higher global energy prices.
“We cannot protect people completely from these global challenges, but are providing significant support where we can.
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood
On Twitter, someone said: “I wouldn’t mind knowing where he is either he’s [flame emoji].”
In all serious though, Humberside Police said of Robert Rimmer: “If you see him, or know where he is, please do not approach him but instead call us immediately on our non-emergency 101 line quoting investigation reference 20900368291.
“If you would prefer to report information anonymously you can do so via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”