Rising energy bills and food prices pushed British inflation to a new 41-year high in October, data showed, a day before Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced tax hikes and spending cuts. .

Consumer prices rose 11.1% year-on-year last month, the highest level since October 1981 and a big jump from 10.1% in September, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the inflation rate to rise less to 10.7%.

Inflation could have risen to around 13.8% in October

The ONS said inflation would have risen to around 13.8% in October if the government had not stepped in to cap the price of energy bills for households at £2,500 ($2,960.25) a year on average.

Hitting those on the lowest incomes hardest, prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose at the fastest pace since 1977, the ONS said.

In response to the data, Hunt – who is due to present a new budget on Thursday – said tough decisions were needed to tackle rising prices.

“It is our duty to help the Bank of England in its mission to return inflation to its target by acting responsibly with the nation’s finances,” Hunt said.

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