THE COST of living has soared once again, putting further strain on families under pressure across the UK. 

Consumer Prices Index Inflation (CPI) reached 10.1% last month, beating expectations, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed. 

The increase was largely down to the price of food and household staples, including toilet rolls and toothbrushes, the ONS said. 

The measure was expected to reach 9.8%, according to an average of analysts’ estimates calculated by Pantheon Macroeconomics. 

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It is the biggest jump in the cost of living since February 1982, when CPI reached 10.4%, according to estimates from the ONS. 

Chief economist for the ONS Grant Fitzner said: “A wide range of price rises drove inflation up again this month. 

“Food prices rose notably, particularly bakery products, dairy, meat and vegetables, which also reflected in higher takeaway prices. 

“Price rises in other staple items, such as pet food, toilet rolls, toothbrushes and deodorants also pushed up inflation in July.

“Driven by higher demand, the price for package holidays rose, after falling at the same time last year, while air fares also increased.

“The cost of both raw materials and goods leaving factories continued to rise, driven by the price of metals and food respectively.”

It also marks a huge increase from the rate of inflation in June which stood at 9.4%.

Inflation is expected to fall back a little in August, but estimates suggest that it could soar back to 13.3% in October when the energy price cap rises again. 

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SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss said: "It's utterly shameful that the Tory government is nowhere to be seen while famlies are worried sick about rising bills and inflation soaring to levels not seen since Margaret Thatcher. 

"People need help right now. The Prime Minister and Chancellor must come out of hiding, recall parliament and introduce an emergency budget that freezes the energy price cap, scraps VAT on fuel and delivers meaningful financial support for households.

"With every day the UK government fails to act, it is demonstrating the need for Scotland to become an independent country, with the full powers and levers to support families and escape the damage of Westminster control."

The Bank of England has said it believes this could push the UK into a recession. 

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Responding to the rise, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said: “I understand that times are tough, and people are worried about increases in prices that countries around the world are facing. 

“Although there are no easy solutions, we are helping where we can through a £37 billion support package, with further payments for those on the lowest incomes, pensioners and the disabled, and £400 off energy bills for everyone in the coming months. 

“Getting inflation under control is my top priority, and we are taking action through strong, independent monetary policy, responsible tax and spending decisions, and reforms to boost productivity and growth.”