Jansev Jemal, Director of Research and Policy at Pro Bono Economics, said:

“Inflation has shot back up to 10.4% in the 12 months to February, rising from 10.1% in January. This follows three successive months of falls in the rate and will be strongest felt in the household budgets of the most vulnerable across the UK.

“Last month, the number of people referred to charitable support and food banks by Citizens Advice rose again, meaning the monthly figure is three times as high as it was at the start of the pandemic. As long as households continue to be squeezed by these historically high levels of inflation, the growing demand for charity support will persist.

“This demand on charity services is only made more challenging by income failing to keep pace with rising costs for charities as they strain to deliver under huge inflationary pressure. Based on the latest OBR forecast, PBE estimates charity income will decline by £800 million in real terms by the end of 2023/24.

“The Chancellor’s recognition of the charity sector in last week’s Budget and the investment he pledged to support charities and community groups was very welcome. It is now vital policymakers remain engaged with the sector as it continues to support communities at the sharp end of this cost of living crisis.”