Cost-of-living crisis forcing people to skip meals and miss essential appointments, new data reveals
People are being forced to skip meals and miss essential appointments due to the cost-of-living crisis, new figures have revealed.
The data, released by the Trussell Trust, also shows that one in five people were unable to cook hot food this summer as they couldn’t afford to use the oven, new figures have revealed.
The research, a YouGov survey of 1,846 people in receipt of Universal Credit during August 2022, found more than two million people had skipped meals across the previous three months to keep up with other essential costs.
The research found almost two-thirds of Universal Credit claimants had to spend July’s first Cost of Living payment from government on food, while almost a quarter have been unable to travel to work or essential appointments because they couldn’t afford the cost of public transport or fuel,
The Trussell Trust has published new research highlighting the devastating impact the cost of living crisis is having on people forced to survive on the lowest incomes.
The charity is urging new Prime Minister Liz Truss to address soaring living costs, which are leading to more people using food banks, in the emergency budget expected on 21 September.
It comes as 38% of people said they’d gone a whole day with no food at all or just one meal, in the last month, because they couldn’t afford to buy food.
Others have been forced to miss work or essential appointments – such as the doctors or the school run – in the last three months due to the cost of fuel and public transport.
Foodbank usage has already risen across the UK, with the Trussell Trust network providing 50% more parcels to people in recent months.
The Trussell Trust says it expects more and more people to be forced to access food banks unless the government takes immediate action to ensure the social security system provides people with enough support to afford the essentials.
The charity is standing with 70 other organisations to call for at least a doubling of the additional support offered to people on the lowest incomes.
It is also urging the government to take action in the emergency budget to address the worrying levels of hardship people are facing by rethinking the deductions that it takes from people’s benefits payments.
The UK Government has already announced that the energy price cap will be frozen at £2,500 for the next two years.
It will come into play on October 1, the same day when the initial 80 per cent price cap hike was due to be introduced.
The action from the UK Government means that a typical household will pay no more than £2500 per year for each of the next two years. This will save the typical household £1000 a year.
However there are calls for more action to be taken to help those on lower incomes – many of which are already struggling before costs go up further.
Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said: “We are deeply concerned that 40% of people claiming Universal Credit are skipping meals, as winter approaches, and this is only going to get worse for people who already struggling to get by.
“It’s wrong that people are missing meals and are unable to afford to cook, because they are sick or disabled or caring for someone.
“The reality is that, instead of providing a lifeline when our circumstances change, financial support such as Universal Credit is leaving people – 41% of whom are working – without enough income to stay warm, fed and dry.
“It’s pushing people to the doors of food banks, and that’s simply not right. If people are to have enough money to live with dignity, we need strong systems that lift us out of hardship rather than plunging us deeper into poverty.
“The government must act now to protect people from harm. This means at least doubling the additional support offered to people on the lowest incomes and rethinking the deductions from the very payments that are meant to help them.
“If you agree everyone should be able to afford life’s essentials, join us in calling for a stronger social security system that provides security every day, not just in times of national crisis.”
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