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Millions of Britons have faced impossible choices in recent months as the cost-of-living crisis has worsened, with 5.6 million people, or 11%, having gone without food because of the rising cost of living as energy and food prices soar, the Money Advice Trust charity said in a new report on Wednesday.
As of August 2022, a fifth of UK adults, or 21%, were behind on one or more household bill, the report found. That’s up from 15% in March 2022. Unsurprisingly, energy was the most common bill for people to be behind on, with 1 in 9, or 11%, currently in energy arrears.
And 1 in 9 adults in the UK say that their energy supplier had increased their monthly payments to a level they could not afford.
As of August, a total of 10.9 million people are behind on household bills, which is an increase of 3 million people since March 2022, Money Advice Trust said.
“My energy costs are huge now so I’m in debt for the first time. I can’t afford school uniform for my kids. I can’t afford to care for my disabled child adequately,” one respondent in the survey said.
Moreover, 5.9 million people, or 11%, said they had gone without heating, electricity, or water in the past three months as a result of the rising cost of living, the report showed.
The UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has a $147 billion (£130 billion) plan to freeze household energy bills at their current levels. As the energy and cost-of-living crisis in the UK deepens, the Truss government is looking to avoid an 80% planned surge in the so-called price cap on household energy bills set to kick in in October. Truss is looking to freeze the annual household bill for gas and electricity at the current level of $2,235 (£1,971) or below.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.