Households unable to pay for essentials as Spring Budget looms

A quarter of households regularly run out of money for essentials, and people believe the UK Government must to more to help households get through the energy bills crisis, new figures released by a group of leading charities and campaigning organisations today shows.

Nationally, 37% of people end the month with no money left over, while nearly a quarter of people (24%) run out of money for essentials either most months or most days. Only 35% of people finish the month with some money to put aside for the future.

Around one in twenty (6%) of people are trying to survive on incomes so low that they can’t pay for essentials most days – a figure that rises to over one in ten (11%) in the UK’s 100 most deprived constituencies.

The new polling highlights the devastating impact of the cost of living crisis across the country, showing how people in both the country’s most deprived areas and its most affluent ones are struggling to get by.

Even among the 10 most affluent constituencies in the UK, 19% of people say they find themselves unable to pay for the likes of food or bills by the end of most months. That rises to 26% of people in the 10 most deprived constituencies.

The figures have been released to mark the launch of a new initiative in response to the cost of living crisis which some of the UK’s biggest charities and organisations have teamed up to create.

Ahead of the Spring Budget the group has launched an open letter backed by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition as well as charities, businesses, Metro Mayors and over 37,800 thousand members of the public. The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, asks them to take action to ensure the crisis illustrated by these figures does not become the UK’s ‘new normal’.

Members of the public can sign up online:

Two thirds (67%) of people described the UK Government as “not doing enough” to address the cost of living crisis.

Matthew McGregor, CEO at campaign group 38 Degrees, said:

This polling paints a bleak picture of the crisis unfolding across the country: families running out of money to put food on the table and keep kids warm is rapidly becoming our new normal.

As the Spring statement looms, a united message is coming through loud and clear from the British public – in the most and least deprived corners of our country – Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt: do your jobs. Stop kids going hungry, end the energy bills ticking timebomb and relieve the sickening worry from families fearing the worst.

Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save The Children, said:

Whether you’re in a rich or poor area, the majority of people believe the UK government isn’t doing enough to help people in the cost of living crisis. Families are now existing month to month, even day to day in some cases and going without essentials, making us deeply worried about the impact this has on children.

The poll, conducted by Survation, questioned people in both the 100 most deprived and the 100 least deprived constituencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the majority in both groups agreeing that the UK Government’s cost of living action is insufficient.