Millions of people cutting back on fuel and food bills to help pay their rent or mortgage

Millions of people cutting back on fuel and food bills to help pay their rent or mortgage

More than one in five people (22%) have spent less on gas and electricity to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months, and just over one in three (34%) have spent less on food, a new survey from Shelter reveals today.

The results from the YouGov survey of 4,014 people in Great Britain equates to 10 million people4 reducing the amount they have spent on fuel for the home, an increase of 60% since 2008.  It also means that 16 million people5 have reduced spending on food to meet their housing costs, up 44% since 2008.

The charity is calling on anyone who is struggling with their housing costs to seek early advice in order to try to prevent them putting their home at risk.

Shelter has a network of specialist advice services around the country, a free helpline and online advice available at shelter.org.uk. The website also includes a new budget calculator and tips on how to save on home fuel bills. 

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “These staggering findings show just how many millions of people are cutting back on essentials as the continued squeeze on incomes starts to really bite.

“It demonstrates the tough choices families are now having to make, between heating their home, putting a decent meal on the table or paying for the roof over their head.

“Every two minutes someone in Britain is at risk of losing their home. We strongly urge anyone struggling to pay their rent or mortgage to seek advice as early as possible.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors
1. In December 2011 Shelter commissioned YouGov to conduct a nationally representative survey of 4,014 adults in Great Britain.  Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd and 5th December 2011.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
2. 22% of respondents said they have reduced the amount spent on fuel bills for the home to help meet housing costs, a rise of 57% since March 2008
3. 34% of respondents said they have reduced the amount spent on food to help meet housing costs, a rise of 42% since March 2008
4. The estimate of the number of GB adults who reduced the amount they spend on fuel for their home in order to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months (More than 10 million) and the number who reduced the amount they spent on food in order to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months (16 million) is based on the latest estimates from the Office of National Statistics which indicate that there are 47.8 million adults in Great Britain. Source: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-231847
5. The estimates of the number of adults affected in 2008 to calculate the increase between 2008 and December 2011 are based on 2008 population statistics from the Office of National Statistics which indicate there were 46.9 million adults in Great Britain.
6. Calculations of estimates in 4 and 5 above have been made by Shelter.

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