Britain's poor unplugging fridges – study
Millions of UK households have been resorting to ‘desperate measures’, such as turning off their fridges or freezers, in order to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, according to a new study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) charity.
Cited by The Guardian on Tuesday, the report found that in October a quarter (2.8 million) of UK low-income households had incurred debts to pay for food, a third had sold belongings to raise cash, and one in six had used so-called community ‘warm rooms’. Four out of five households on universal credit were going without food, switching off heating and not replacing worn-out clothing. Nearly a million households said that since May they had to disconnect their fridge or freezer for the first time.
According to the JRF, more than seven million households had gone without food and other essentials in the last six months, despite the government’s cost of living targeted support.
“Millions of families unplugging their fridges and freezers is the latest chapter in a long-running story of hardship,” Peter Matejic, chief analyst at the JRF, was quoted as saying. “People risk becoming sick from eating spoiled food and going without healthy, fresh food. This risks lasting harm to the health of millions,” he warned.
The report noted there were growing concerns around the decreased financial help for low-income families that the government is expected to announce in its autumn spending statement next week.
“It’s unconscionable that the government is reportedly considering cutting struggling families’ benefits to fund tax cuts,” Matejic said.
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