Everyone across the UK is facing the sharpest rise in their cost of living for decades.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Spring Statement is primarily an update on the current state, and future expectations, of the nation's finances.

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But he also announced some big, new policies that will affect our personal budgets in the coming months and years.

Bringing together expected changes in earnings, reforms to taxes, and the recently announced energy measures, a middle earner on £27,500 per year can expect to be about £360 worse off this year than they were last, according to economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Price rises will accelerate
Many of the necessities we buy - notably food, fuel and energy - have been rising in price. On Wednesday, official figures revealed that the cost of a whole host of goods and services, from furniture to toys, have also been increasing sharply.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said prices rose by 6.2% in the 12 months to February - the fastest for 30 years.

The chancellor's Spring Statement confirmed that consumers should be braced for things getting more expensive at a faster rate later in the year.

Official forecasts, from the Office for Budget Responsibility, suggest inflation (which charts the rising cost of living) will average 7.4% this year, peaking at around 9% at the end of the year.

Tax promises back on the agenda
In September, the government announced that employees will pay 1.25p more in the pound from their pay packet in National Insurance contributions from this April.

In a significant move, he has now said that the earnings threshold at which people start to pay National Insurance will rise.

At present, most workers start paying National Insurance contributions when their income hits £9,568. They pay 12% of earnings between £9,568 and £50,270, then 2% on any earnings above £50,270.

Now the chancellor has said, from July, National Insurance will be paid on income over £12,570 a year - the same level as income tax starts being paid.