Has the cost of living crisis driven this woman to shoplifting?

One in 10 youngsters admit to shoplifting as cost-of-living crisis deepens

Hardship subject to a generational divide

As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, one in 10 young adults in Britain have reportedly admitted to shoplifting from supermarkets.

According to Metro, a new survey shows struggling Brits are increasingly pinching items during the self-checkout process.

And statistics quoted from the Office for National Statistics suggests there may be a generational divide relating to hardship, too.

Woman worries over cost of living
Cost of living worries have had a huge impact (Credit: Pexels.com)

Cost-of-living crisis

With soaring inflation meaning food and fuel costs are higher than they have been for generations, the supermarket shop has also exploded. Some families have seen the cost-of-living lead to rises of 20%. Prices for other basic household products in supermarkets have doubled in the last year alone.

Furthermore, the cost of imported food has also increased even more – by 25.7% according the ONS.

Additionally, it is believed one in five people in Britain has sought financial assistance to pay for food. However, that breaks down to 37% of young adults seeking financial support, compared with 5% of those over the age of 55. And amid the fastest rise in food prices in over 40 years, increases are more likely to disproportionately affect those on low incomes. That’s because they spend a higher proportion of their household budget on food and drink.

And that has apparently means one in 25 adults have admitted to intentionally missing out or incorrectly scanning goods they can’t afford at self-checkouts.

Woman inspects food in a supermarket aisle
The cost of food in a supermarkets is higher than it has been for generations (Credit: Pexels.com)

Use of food banks

Furthermore, 8% of respondents to a survey noted they dip into overdrafts or borrow money from friends or relatives to cover their food shop. And 5% of those polled by money-saving app ZipZero said they have started to use food banks.

Additionally, more than 3,000,000 food packages were handed out by the Trussell Trust across the UK in the last year. That represents a year-on-year increase of 37%. And one-in-five food bank users are in work, too.

Woman struggles with bills
How much more can Brits be squeezed by the cost-of-living crisis? (Credit: Pexels.com)

ZipZero chief executive Mohsin Rashid reflected: “The rising price of food is massively destabilising household finances. With one in five adults seeking financial support, and double this number for young adults, there can be no doubt that food inflation is raising poverty levels in the country.

There can be no doubt that food inflation is raising poverty levels.

“The resilience and tenacity of Britons have been remarkable, with many finding new savvy ways to cut spending. But we are running out of room to manoeuvre. With a staggering number of adults actively turning to petty theft and food banks to reduce costs, food inflation is changing social norms and redefining life standards in the UK.”

Read more: From £182k to absolutely nothing – how much did your local council spend on the coronation?

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer

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