Nearly 40% of people end the month with no money left, while 24% run out of money for essentials either most months or most days. Even among the 10 most affluent constituencies in the UK, 19% of people said they found themselves unable to pay for food or bills by the end of most months.
Overall, 6% of people told the charities’ survey they could not pay for essentials most days, rising to 11% in the most deprived areas. Sixty-seven per cent said the UK government was “not doing enough” to address the cost of living crisis. The poll questioned people in the 100 most deprived and 100 least deprived constituencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Matthew McGregor, the chief executive of 38 Degrees, a charity that organises campaigning petitions, 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.”
The Office for National Statistics released figures on Monday showing that more than half of renters would not be able to afford an unexpected £850 bill, prompting calls for ministers to unfreeze housing benefit, which is stuck at 2020 levels.
Macmillan Cancer Support separately warned that cancer patients were resorting to selling possessions and using loan sharks to make ends meet. In findings it described as “heartbreaking”, the charity said a third of patients had been buying or eating less food, and 22% had been spending more time in bed to stay warm.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced on Monday free school meals to all children for all primary schools in the capital.