3m UK households choosing between heating and eating

Over three million families in the UK are being forced to choose between heating and eating as they do not have enough money. 

This is accordi…

Over three million families in the UK are being forced to choose between heating and eating as they do not have enough money. 

This is according to research jointly commissioned by The Children's Society and the Daily Mirror and carried out by YouGov, which demonstrates just how severe a financial situation many consumers find themselves in. 

When asked about how they plan to get through the winter, more than five million families said they are going to be forced to turn down their heating because of the expense associated with energy, despite the fact they realise this could lead to their children falling ill.

While 3.6 million kids said they thought their house was too cold, 1.3 million pointed out there was damp or mould in their property. 

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, described the situation as a "scandal", adding it is the responsibility of society to make sure everyone is looked after. 

"Parents are being forced to choose between the basics – food or warmth. In a society where all people are valued, whether they are old or young, it is our duty to care for one another. It's never been more important for families in poverty to receive this vital support," he added.

The Children's Society chief executive Matthew Reed said the current situation is "unacceptable", as too many families are struggling to make ends meet. He is calling for urgent action from the government.

While people should be doing their best to avoid racking up personal debts, they should seek help if they are being forced to choose between heating and eating. One initiative that can assist them is the Warm Home Discount, a £135 discount on energy bills for low income families that is given out when children are living in fuel poverty. 

Households could also consider restructuring their debts in an effort to free up more disposable income. 

By Amy White

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