9th April 2015
Some 12% – a massive six million Britons borrowed money to cover their grocery bills last month, according to research from the Debt Advisory Centre.
Notably, similar research carried out in 2013 showed that just 6% of people used credit to buy food.
The research indicates that more people are now suffering from food poverty, despite the country coming out of recession. People in London and Northern Ireland were the most likely, at 18%, to borrow money to buy food, closely followed by those in Wales, at 14%.
The study found however that it is not just food which people are struggling to afford. Some 4.5m people say they used a loan or credit card to cover a gas, electricity or water bill in the last month.
Even more concerning is that 1.5m people borrowed to pay for their rent or mortgage, and 5% made a repayment on one loan by taking out another loan, which could lead to them spiralling into debt.
Ian Williams, spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre, says: “A worrying number of people are being forced to borrow money to keep a roof above their head, to stay warm and to feed themselves and their families. Often we think that people use credit to pay for treats they don’t need. This research indicates that many people are relying on credit just to get by.
“We would urge anyone who is struggling to pay essential bills or worrying about their debts to seek help and advice from a credible source such as a regulated debt advice service or the Citizens Advice Bureau.”