The decade that broke Britain: the disastrous decisions that left millions in a cost of living crisis

The government is keen to blame growing levels of poverty on Covid and the Ukraine war. But policies from the benefits cap to the bedroom tax have left households on the brink amid the cost of living crisis. Here are 10 of the worst

Listening to the prime minister and his colleagues, you could be forgiven for thinking that the mounting cost of living crisis came out of the blue. As they see it, along came the war in Ukraine and what Boris Johnson has called “the aftershocks of Covid”, triggering rocketing inflation. Suddenly, the gap between people’s incomes and rising prices turned lives upside down.

In fact, for millions of people in Britain, 2022’s growing sense of disaster is another chapter in a story that goes back at least 10 years – to rules and regulations that turned the welfare state into a mess of trapdoors and tripwires, to the hacking back of benefits, to the dire treatment of disabled people and to a new world of work where chronic insecurity and flatlining pay are an everyday reality.

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