An estimated 20% of UK adults, or 10.9 million people, are behind on one or more household bill – up by 3 million since March – according to the Money Advice Trust report. This figure was much higher, at 45%, for households that received a means-tested benefit, the debt charity said. High energy price rises had already become unaffordable for millions of people, the charity said. About 10.7 million had seen their energy bills rise by £100 or more a month since April.
5.6 million have gone without food in the past three months according to new research that reveals Britons are skipping meals “just to keep the lights on”. This included skipping meals, eating once a day or not eating at all on some days.
Joanna Elson, the charity’s chief executive, said, “Many households are already facing impossible choices, such as which meal to skip just to keep the lights on.”
The charity found that many households had little or no wriggle room left in their budgets to cope with rising prices. It said 41% had already cut all nonessential spending, a figure which was up seven percentage points on its March poll.
The jump in energy costs meant more people were borrowing money to try to make ends meet. The charity estimates that more than 15 million people have had to use credit to pay for essentials – an increase of 2.1 million since March 2022 – while one in 10 have had to borrow money from family or friends.