As people in Britain feel the Cost of Living crisis bite, there is no sight of it ending anytime soon.
Food prices rise week on week, every time I visit the supermarket my usual items have increased.
As of today22/09/2022 the Bank of England have yet again, raised interest rates throwing people with uncapped mortgages, further into difficulty.
Although I welcome a cap on energy prices, I can’t help but feel this is a “Sales trick.”
Threatening people with energy costs going up 400% then capping it at approximately 200% leading people to believe they are getting a bargain while energy suppliers rake in record profits.
At the time of writing this inflation is quoted as 9.8% but the reality is much worse than this.
Rise in homelessness
Despite living in the world’s sixth biggest economy, people are still living with no place to call their home in this country.
Government figures released in June showed 74,230 households in England became homeless or were at imminent risk of becoming homeless between January and March 2022 – including 25,610 families with children. This represents an 11% rise in three months, and a 5% rise on the same period last year.
It also noted despite being in full-time work 10,560 households were found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness. This is the highest number of people in full-time work recorded as homeless since this government started recording this data in 2018.
1 in 4 (25%) households were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless because of the loss of a private tenancy (18,210 households). This has increased by 94% in a year and is the second leading trigger of homelessness in England.
Another cause for concern is the rises in homeowner property repossessions, which are moving up closer towards their pre-pandemic levels. The government’s moratorium on these during the pandemic will have eased this concern for a time, but with this now lifted, rates are rising. UK Finance estimated that there were 580 UK homeowner properties repossessed in the first quarter of 2022, up from 200 in 2021. This total equates to 6.4 properties being repossessed every day, or one every 3 hours and 43 minutes.
Bailiff evictions rise by 39% in just three months as private renters run out of options
Government figures released in August reveal that as the cost-of-living crisis bites, 3,405 households in the private rented sector were evicted by bailiffs in England between April and June 2022 – up 39% on the previous quarter.
Credit card borrowing jumped in June at its fastest annual rate in 17 years as struggling households appeared to rely on extra borrowing to cope with the escalating cost of living.
Credit card borrowing rose by £740m month on month, 13% higher than the year before, according to Bank of England figures that showed the biggest year on year rise since October 2005.
Debt charities said the increase in unsecured borrowing showed households were under “relentless pressure” to meet monthly food and energy payments and called on the government to increase benefits to the hardest hit.
Unsecured personal loan rates have grown to their highest point in six years for loans over the value of £7,500.
According to the latest Moneyfacts UK Unsecured Lending Trends Treasury Report, the unsecured consumer lending market saw a spate of rate rises recorded during the second quarter of 2022.
For personal loans of £7,500 or more with a repayment term of five years, an average 0.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter rate rise was reported. The average rate on this size of loan is now 5.2 per cent – a six year high.
One in six UK households (4.4 million) are now in ‘serious financial difficulties’, compared to one in ten (2.8 million) in October 2021
Of those 4.4 million in serious financial difficulties, to make ends meet 71% have reduced the quality of food they eat, 36% have sold or pawned possessions and 27% have cancelled or not renewed insurance.
Food banks across Britain have warned of a “completely unsustainable” surge in demand that will prevent them feeding the hungriest families this winter.
More than three-quarters of households in the UK, or 53 million people, will have been pushed into fuel poverty by January 2023, according to a new report authored by York academics.
People living in the poorest and coldest regions of the UK will be the worst affected along with those who are already most likely to be struggling with the cost of living. More than 90% of large families and pensioner couples will be in fuel poverty, the authors of the report calculate.
Bankruptcies in the United Kingdom averaged 3646.34 Companies from 1975 until 2022, reaching an all-time high of 6950 Companies in the fourth quarter of 2008 and a record low of 924 Companies in the second quarter of 1979.
More than a third of consumers (38%) are reporting their financial situation is making them feel stressed or anxious and a quarter (26%) even say they are feeling depressed, according to a poll.
The poll found that around a third of respondents (31%) have experienced a loss of sleep because of worry, while more than a fifth (21%) say the crisis is leaving them feeling mentally or physically exhausted.
The financial uncertainty is also putting a strain on people’s relationships with 15% saying that it has led to arguments, and a further quarter believing money worries have affected their relationships.
30% of those surveyed said that they don’t have anywhere, or anyone, to turn to for support, and only 2% admitted to turning to professional help in the form of their doctor or employers.
Mental health charities have also reported seeing a rise in demand for their services from those struggling to cope with the increased cost of living.
Some useful services;
StepChange is a fantastic government and bank funded charity that is dedicated to helping those struggling with debt. They provide free help and can even speak to your creditors on your behalf for no fee. Online debt advice service available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 0800 138 1111 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm.
- National Debtline.
National Debtline is a charity that provides free, confidential and independent debt advice online and over the phone.
- Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email email@example.com or visit some branches in person.
- SANEline. If you’re experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
- National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK.
- Offers a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652 (open 24/7)
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
You can call the CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. Or if you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service.
- Shout. If you would prefer not to talk but want some mental health support, you could text SHOUT to 85258. Shout offers a confidential 24/7 text service providing support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.