Millions of people in the UK are struggling to pay their bills, according to City Watchdog, which said a growing number of people are struggling to make ends meet.

Survey conducted Office of Financial Control (FCA) revealed the impact of the cost of living crisis, saying that around one in four (24%) adults in the UK are either experiencing financial difficulties or will be in trouble if they suffer a financial shock.

The FCA found that around 7.8 million people are finding it a heavy burden to keep up with their bills, an increase of around 2.5 million from 2020, as wage growth has failed to keep pace with a sharp rise in inflation at a 40-year high. is currently 10.1%.

Meanwhile, 4.2 million people missed bills or loan payments in the six months before the survey, in the four months between February and June.

Financial problems were concentrated in poorer areas across the UK, with people in economically challenged areas around seven times more likely to experience financial difficulties than their peers. About 12% of people in the North East and 10% in the North West experienced financial difficulties, compared to 6% of people in the South East and South West.

The statistics were compiled as part of the FCA’s Financial Life Survey, which surveyed more than 19,000 people and will be published in full in early 2023.

The government is believed to be considering increasing benefits in line with wage growth of 5.5%, rather than inflation, which would put extra pressure on already poor households.

The Resolution Foundation think tank said it would have serious implications for families, with a single disabled adult on Universal Credit potentially losing £380 and a single parent with one child £478 a year. A working couple with three children will lose £978.

Sheldon Mills, FCA director of consumer affairs and competition, said: “Our research shows that people across the country are struggling to keep up with their bills.

“If you are facing financial difficulties, you do not have to fight alone. There is free debt advice available and we have told firms that they should work with their clients to resolve any payment issues.’

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