One in eight Brits have nothing left to cut back on to pay for energy

Britain at breaking point: One in eight say they have nothing left to cut back on to help pay for energy when prices jump further

  • One in eight Brits say they have nothing left to cut back on to pay for energy 
  • Prices are due to jump further this autumn, with people scraping by to meet rise
  • A fifth of households have a shortfall of £60 a week between earnings and costs

One in eight Brits have said that they have nothing left to cut back on to help pay for energy when prices jump further.

And there are warnings that the cost-of-living crisis is increasing regional inequalities across different parts of the country and putting the Government’s levelling up agenda at risk.

Research from Legal & General found households in Yorkshire and Humber, the South West and Northern Ireland were particularly worried about their finances in the face of soaring bills.

The firm’s latest Rebuilding Britain Index found that one in eight respondents, or 13 per cent, feel they would have nothing left to cut back on when energy prices jump further in the autumn.

It reported that more than 25 per cent of households earning less than £20,000 per year are worried about being unable to manage the rising cost of bills. 

One in eight Brits have said that they have nothing left to cut back on to help pay for energy when prices jump further in the autumn. File image

And 69 per cent of households said they are making additional cutbacks to their budgets due to recent rising costs, in order to make mortgage and rent payments.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive at the pension and investment firm, welcomed the Government’s £400 financial package for households but stressed that the state needs to help ‘address the root of regional inequalities’ with a longer-term strategy.

He said ‘greater collaboration between public and private sectors’ is needed to address issues across various parts of the economy, including energy, health, housing and jobs.

‘Many households across the UK are currently facing very tough financial choices. For some, those choices seem impossible,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘However, what is most concerning is that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis is being felt more severely in some parts of the UK than in others.

‘This threatens to widen the existing demographic and geographic inequalities that the levelling up agenda was designed to address.’

It comes as the possibility of inflation reaching 12 per cent this autumn looms ahead, with fuel costs and food prices bumping inflation to 9.4 per cent in June – marking a 40-year high. 

A fifth of households across the country have a shortfall of £60 a week between their earnings and essential costs. File image

And Brits are preparing for energy bills to hit up to £3,850 per year from January – three times the price at the start of this year. 

The firm’s latest Rebuilding Britain Index also showed significant regional differences regarding how comfortable people are currently feeling about their financial position.

In Yorkshire and Humber, the South West and Northern Ireland only 49 per cent of households said they are confident of being able to maintain their current lifestyle over the coming 12 months.

Whereas London residents were the most confident, with 72 per cent believing they can maintain their lifestyles.

A fifth of households across the country have a shortfall of £60 a week between their earnings and essential costs, including food, fuel, housing and travel, data from the Asda income tracker showed, the Guardian reported.

And borrowing rates have risen, with Brits borrowing a further £1.38 billion in consumer credit in June, Bank of England data shows.  

A government spokesperson said: ‘Opportunity should be spread across the country to ensure no area is left behind, which is why we’re pressing full steam ahead with levelling up.

And 69 per cent of households said they are making additional cutbacks to their budgets due to recent rising costs, in order to make mortgage and rent payments. File image

‘Our Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will enshrine in law our commitment to closing the gap in pay and productivity across regions. 

‘By investing in the areas that need it most, improving schools, supporting regeneration and generating higher paid jobs we will improve the lives of the poorest in areas across the UK.

‘We’re also helping households through a £37 billion package of support – protecting eight million of the most vulnerable families with direct payments of £1,200 this year.’

The UK is also seeing the second highest petrol prices in Europe, with Brits paying around 186p per litre, around 20p more than French and Spanish drivers, RAC research found. 

Simon Williams, from the breakdown recovery firm, said that the Government has ‘pretty much done the least to support drivers’ with fuel costs, compared to other European countries.

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