UK inflation soared to a fresh 40-year high of 9.4% last month, figures from the ONS showed, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens further for Bristolians.

Inflation, which stood at 2.5% last June, has now risen for nine months in a row and the Bank of England is expecting it to peak at above 11% when energy bills rise again in the autumn.

The rising cost of fuel and food were the largest contributors to June’s hiked inflation rate. Petrol prices rose by 18.1p per litre last month, the highest monthly increase on record since 1990.

The latest ONS figures show food and drink prices rose by 9.8%, the highest rate since March 2009, with particularly sharp increases in the cost of milk, eggs and cheese.

It comes as real wages fell by 3.9% as pay fails to keep up with rising prices, the ONS reported yesterday, piling even more pressure on cash-strapped households right across the region.

Dan Norris, Labour’s Metro Mayor in the West of England, said the region was stuck with a “zombie government” just as local people are “pushed to the brink” by rising prices as the Tory leadership contest battle continues. He urged the remaining candidates to stop “trying to burnish their tax-cutting credentials” and back his party’s plan for an emergency budget.

Mayor Norris said: “This is a hike that thousands of families in Bristol simply cannot absorb. We need a government that recognise the strains that our region is facing. But while the cost-of-living-crisis is pushing more West of England families to the brink every day, we are stuck with a zombie government that are out of ideas, out of touch and out of time. In parallel we have a frankly embarrassing leadership contest where candidates offer hundreds of billions of pounds in unfunded tax cuts, but nothing for the thousands of families facing a choice between eating and heating this autumn. Instead of trying to burnish their tax-cutting credentials, the Tories must back Labour’s proposal for an Emergency Budget that the West of England, and the country, so badly needs”.

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