More and more people are struggling to pay their energy bills, new research shows, with half of UK adults cutting back on how much food they buy.
A new survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 46% of adults who pay energy bills are finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford them.
The research was carried out between July 6 and July 17, and shows an increase from 43% saying the same in the previous two-week period.
The ONS said one in five of those questioned reported borrowing more money or taking out more credit over the last month compared with the same period a year ago.
The survey also found that 46% said they would not be able to save any money over the next year.
But it is not just savings that are taking a hit.
People are able to put less food on their tables because of the rising cost of living.
Exactly half of all adults said they are buying less in a food shop, with an equal proportion saying they are spending more than usual to do their normal shop.
Around 9 in 10 (89%) adults reported their cost of living had risen over the past month – compared with 62% when we first started asking this question (3 to 14 Nov 2021) 📈
50% of adults said they had to spend more than usual to get what they normally buy 🛒 pic.twitter.com/5m5mzi7w4F
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) July 22, 2022
The twice-monthly survey continues to show a deteriorating position for UK households.
Inflation – the measure of how much more expensive things are getting for households – has reached 40-year highs in recent months.
The most recent data shows that households now have to spend £9.40 more for every £100 they spent a year ago to buy the same things.
A large part of this is because of rising global energy prices, which have not only pushed up the cost of heating homes, but also the cost of buying many everyday items that need energy.
The survey also examined other problems for UK residents.
One in seven people went abroad over the last four weeks, and a third of those said they experienced travel disruption.
Those travelling by air whose journeys were disrupted reported delayed flights or more time waiting on the plane (92%) and longer than normal queues at the airport (54%).