ONE hundred thousand households in Wales have no money left – even for food – after paying bills, polling for Citizens Advice Cymru has shown.
The figure works out at eight per cent of Welsh households living on a ‘negative budget’ – left without cash for food and other costs after paying for housing and other recurring bills.
The polling has been prepared on behalf of the advice charity and is due to be presented to Welsh employers at event on Thursday, hosted by Business in the Community, to discuss the rising cost-of-living.
The poll also shows that 33 per cent of people in Wales anticipate needing to cut down or stop their spending on costs such as broadband in the next six months which will limit their access to services, from banking to education and may impact their ability to manage their budgets.
Citizens Advice says since March it has helped more than 2,000 people in Wales access fuel vouchers and 7,700 people with food bank referrals.
It warns household costs are likely to rise further as in October the energy price cap is predicted to rise again to £3,244 for an average annual household bill.
Luke Young, head of policy and campaigns, for Citizens Advice Cymru said: “Many households are barely making it to payday with enough left for essentials. Record numbers are accessing our services for food and fuel crisis support.
“We cannot lose sight of the potential damage lack of access to mobile and broadband services could cause. Access to the internet is crucial for so much in everyday life. It’s used to help buy food, manage bills, book appointments, and help children with their learning. It is a modern day essential.
“Our new research shows that for some people disconnecting broadband and mobile is one way to reduce costs. We have real concerns it will cut off access to important online advice, banking and public services. This is no time for people to be isolated from the world. We must do what we can to ensure access to advice and support services – public-facing businesses have an important role to play.”
Sue Husband, director of Business in the Community Cymru, said: “The cost of living crisis affects everyone, but we know that some communities face harder pressures than others, particularly as rising costs have pushed many working people into poverty.
“No household should have to worry about whether they can pay their bills or put food on the table. Together with partners like Citizens Advice Cymru, we are striving to find solutions to this crisis by working with Welsh businesses, local authorities and voluntary organisations to support those who are suffering most at this time.”
The survey of 6,000 adults in the UK, with a boosted sample of 517 adults in Wales, was conducted by ICM Unlimited between May 27 and June 17 this year.
- This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.