UK’s cost of living crisis forces more Britons to use savings

2023-07-15 21:38:51
UK’s cost of living crisis forces more Britons to use savings

Britain’s cost of living crisis is forcing more people to dip into savings to make ends meet, according to official figures showing renters are at the greatest risk of financial vulnerability.

The Office for National Statistics said three in 10 people it surveyed were using savings because of the rising cost of living, an increase from a quarter of adults reporting this in late April.

Millions of households across Britain are coming under sustained pressure from soaring prices for groceries, energy and other basic essentials, with inflation stuck at 8.7% and food and drink prices continuing to rise at among the fastest annual rates since the late 1970s.

Highlighting the intense pressure on families, the ONS said one in 20 households had run out of food in the past and had not been able to afford more.

Almost half of adults said they were spending more than usual to get what they usually buy, or had resorted to buying less food. Separate research from Kantar suggests households are shopping around more and changing to cheaper supermarket own-brand products.

The Bank of England has raised interest rates 13 times in succession, driving up mortgage costs and feeding through to rental prices as landlords pass on their own higher borrowing costs to tenants.

According to the ONS report into the impact of the cost of living crisis, renters had almost five times the odds of facing financial vulnerability, compared with those who own their home outright. Young adults and those with disabilities were also more likely to be affected, as well as lone parents and those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

About half of Asian or Asian British adults, and 47% of black, African, Caribbean or black British adults were finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments, compared with 33% among white adults.

Highlighting the impact of soaring rental costs and higher mortgage payments for younger adults who stretched to get on the housing ladder in recent years, the ONS said adults aged 25 to 34 were more than three times as likely to experience vulnerability than those aged 75 and over.

David Ainslie from the Office for National Statistics said: “Today’s analysis adds to our work identifying inequalities in society and how certain groups have been more affected by the increased cost of living than others.”

The report, based on surveys of almost 15,000 adults across Great Britain, showed 92% believed the cost of living was the most important issue facing the UK. The NHS ranked second, with 88%, followed by the economy (79%), the climate crisis and the environment, and housing (62%).

Immigration, Brexit and industrial action were ranked as less important.

The ONS said that, of those respondents who had tried to contact a GP practice to make an appointment in the past month, about a third had found it difficult to do so. Less than half said it was easy.

Source: The Guardian


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