Commenting on today’s news (Wednesday 15 December) that inflation has surged to 5.1% in the 12 months to November – the highest level since September 2011 and more than double the 2% target – Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has called on the Government to get a grip of the surging cost of living.

Catherine stated “Families are already feeling the pinch in the run up to a really difficult Christmas with rising transport and energy costs hitting family finances.

“Petrol prices surged last month to the highest recorded, and energy bills have increased by over £230 this winter. Even more worrying, the International Monetary Fund have warned that we could see inflation continue to increase to 5.5% early next year – the highest in 30 years.

“Not only have the Government sat on their hands despite warnings of a cost of living crisis, they are actively adding to it. We are likely to see yet another increase in energy prices in the new year and the Tories’ tax increase for working people further hitting households from April.

“The Government has to get a grip and step up, rather than stand idly by as families struggle. They should follow Labour’s plans, scrap their tax increase on hardworking families, restore the Universal Credit uplift and cut VAT on energy bills. Families need immediate support, or they risk facing a really difficult winter”.