MONTHLY bills for families across Barnsley have soared by £350 in an 18-month period, shock new figures have revealed.

MP John Healey has accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of leaving ‘families in the lurch’, after analysis showed the huge hike in average costs.

Following the release of July’s inflation figures, families are paying £82 more a week on the cost of living than they were in 2021/22.

Weekly spending on goods and services, such as food, transport and fuel bills, have risen from £529 in 2021/22 to £611 today - or £356 more a month.

John, who represents the Wentworth and Dearne constituency, said: “We’ve had a decade of low growth, low pay and high taxes.

“Families across the borough are paying the price of the Conservative cost-of-living crisis through higher household bills and prices at the shops.

“If Labour were in power today, we would introduce a proper windfall tax on the huge profits the oil and gas giants are making to help families with the cost of living.

“Our plan to build a strong economy will boost growth, increase wages and bring down bills so working people are better off.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average weekly household spending in the UK was £529 in 2021/22.

Inflation fell in July to 6.8 per cent, which means the cost of the same weekly shop has risen from £529 in 2021/22 to £611 - an increase of 15.5 per cent to £82 per week.

That means that households would have to pay £356 more a month to do the same shop as in 2021/22.

Almost half of adults have reported cutting back on their food shopping in Barnsley as a result, according to the analysis.

Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, said the new stats are ‘incredibly worrying’.

She added: “Barnsley has seen a sharp increase in petrol and energy prices, whilst almost half of adults reported cutting back on food shopping.

“With over 20,000 homes considered fuel poor in Barnsley and foodbanks seeing an almost unmanageable rise in usage, this is incredibly worrying.

“Families in Barnsley and across the country are struggling under the strain of poverty and food insecurity.

“Foodbanks have reported an increase in demand, and providers are worried that if demand continues to rise, they might have to cut support, or even turn people away.

“Barnsley’s foodbanks have reported a 46 per cent increase in children needing food parcels.

“Families who were struggling before the cost-of-living crisis are unable to cut costs any more than they already have.

“People with no previous police records are being caught stealing food and other essentials.

“Others are self-disconnecting from pre-payment meters, having no choice but to risk their health as they are unable to pay for heating.

“Charities and local groups do incredible work to support their communities but this isn’t their mess to fix.”