Millions of households ‘worried about bills’

The Citizens Advice Bureau has highlighted the up to three million people living up and down the UK who are currently extremely worried about their ab…

The Citizens Advice Bureau has highlighted the up to three million people living up and down the UK who are currently extremely worried about their ability to meet their monthly household bills.

Based on figures published by housing charity Shelter, the data highlights a considerable proportion of UK households that are currently struggling to make ends meet, despite the economy having taken a turn for the better in recent months.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy stated that low wage increases over recent years coupled with inflation and the growing cost of living mean that millions of people are now suffering an anxious wait at the end of every month.

"Housing costs have left some families standing on a financial cliff edge. Working households that have already cut back on spending to get by could find themselves in the red if interest rates go up," she commented.

As many as three out of every five households are now worried about the financial impact of rising bills, with predicted increases in energy, childcare and food costs all adding to this concern.

Meanwhile, the growing number of people who are self-employed or who work unstable hours means financial instability is a very real factor for many.

It is therefore important for the Bank of England to consider these issues when considering whether or not to increase the base rate from its current record low level of 0.5 per cent in the coming months, as any rise in interest rates could have a significant detrimental impact on many people's lives.

"An interest rate rise would put some in a more precarious position, so any rise needs to be slow and steady in order for families to manage the extra cost," Ms Guy concluded.

Citizens Advice also revealed figures showing the organisation dealt with more than 87,000 cases of individuals falling into social housing rent arrears last year – a ten per cent increase on 2012.

Posted by James Francis

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