‘Poor families face higher charges’

An inability to arrange direct debit payments for gas and electricity bills leaves many people with no choice but to pay an extra ten per cent on these provisions annually, according to research from Save the Children and the Family Welfare Association.

In addition, low income households are more likely to be denied access to low interest loans, which can lead to such families having to spend up to 150 per cent more for relatively large purchases, such as ovens or boiler units, Save the Children suggests.

It is a matter of gross injustice that the families who are struggling most to get by from week to week are being forced to pay more for essential things like heating their homes,” said Colette Marshall, UK director of Save the Children.

“We demand that companies and government must work together to stop this deeply unfair financial punishment of families,” she added.

According to Citizens Advice research released last month, 15 per cent more people in the UK sought out debt advice during January of this year than did so in January 2006.

track