West of England households are coming under further pressure from price increases after inflation hit a 40-year-high, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to unfold across the region.

The ONS said today inflation had risen to 9% in April, up from 7% in March. This is the highest level of inflation since comparable readings in 1982.

With broad-based price rises across the economy, almost three-quarters of the increase came from higher electricity and gas bills. A higher energy price cap kicked in last month, meaning homes using a typical amount of gas and electricity are now paying £700-a-year more on their bills.

Meanwhile, average petrol prices stood at £1.62 per litre in April 2022, the highest recorded by the ONS, compared with £1.26 per litre a year earlier. The news comes a fortnight after the Bank of England warned the country could be heading for a recession.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said the scale of the challenge meant and Emergency Budget was now essential as he once again backed calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help cash-strapped West of England households. Mayor Norris said: “This news will come as a huge worry for families across the West of England whose finances are already stretched. But while cost-of-living crisis is biting local people harder than ever, the Government is shrugging its shoulders. The sheer scale of this inflation-led squeeze makes it all the more remarkable the Tories yesterday torpedoed Labour’s proposal for a one-off windfall tax on oil and energy giants that are making record profits. Enough is enough. The Tories must back Labour’s proposal for an Emergency Budget today, no ifs no buts, and join people here in the West of England and across the country in backing a windfall tax to help cut hard-pressed household bills by up to £600. Or else they should explain why they continue to oppose measures that would ease the cost-of-living crisis for people across our great region”.

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