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Four in 10 struggled to afford energy bills last month as cost-of-living crisis bites

·2-min read
Nearly a quarter of adults - 23 percent - said that it was ‘very difficult or difficult’ to pay their usual household bills (AFP via Getty Images)
Nearly a quarter of adults - 23 percent - said that it was ‘very difficult or difficult’ to pay their usual household bills (AFP via Getty Images)

Around four in ten people reported finding it hard to afford their energy bills last month, according to new ONS figures that document the rising cost of living crisis.

Some 87 percent of adults reported an increase in their cost of living over the previous month in March 2022, an increase of 25 percent compared with November 2021.

The new figures come as Labour calls for an emergency budget to bring forward more measures to help families who are struggling to afford basic food and energy supplies.

Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday that the rising cost of living was “the single number one issue” for people across the UK.

43 percent of those who pay energy bills said that it was “very or somewhat difficult” to afford them in March 2022.

Among all adults surveyed, 43 percent reported that they would not be able to save money in the next 12 months. This is the highest amount since the question was first asked in March 2020.

Nearly a quarter of adults - 23 percent - said that it was “very difficult or difficult” to pay their usual household bills in the last month compared with a year ago.

Three percent of people claimed to be behind on rent or mortgage payments in March 2022.

The data, analysed by the Office for National Statistics, was taken from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.

The survey took place before regulators raised the maximum amount that can be charged by energy suppiers by 54 percent.

“The combination of shrinking pay packets and rising costs means that the pressure on households is building,” Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation said.

“This is set to get worse, with the estimated number of households experiencing fuel stress hitting five million this month.”

Supermarket chains Asda and Morrisons said on Monday that they would cut the prices of essential items.

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