Susan responds

7.4 million people struggling to pay bills

11/04/24

As reported in today’s media, figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), highlight that huge numbers of people are continuing to struggle to make ends meet, with more than 7.4 million experiencing issues paying a bill or credit repayment in January.

This figure may be less than last year, but remains much higher than before the cost of living crisis. (5.8 million people struggled to pay a large big in February 2020.  In January 2023 the figure was 10.9 million people).

Susan McEniff, CEO of Charity Link, says: “7.4 million families struggling to pay the bills remains a huge number and shows that more needs to be done to support those on low incomes.

Every day we see the impact that not having enough money for the basics in life has on people’s physical and mental wellbeing. The stress caused by trying to juggle limited budgets, particularly with children to feed, can be immense.

It is extremely welcome news that inflation is reducing and that some people are feeling much more optimistic about the months to come.

However, we know at Charity Link that any uplifts in the economy take a significant period of time to benefit those on the lowest income. We are continuing to help a huge number of people (1601 people helped January- March) and expect this high level of need to continue for some time. We were pleased to see the six month extension to the Household Support Fund for struggling families in England, announced by the Chancellor in March, but, like many charities, we are extremely concerned about welfare needs as this ends and we go into the autumn and winter months.

We are very grateful to those lending their support to our work to ensure we can continue to help when people find themselves in need; this is vital to improve health and wellbeing and prevents the most vulnerable people in our communities from getting into unsustainable debt”.

Read today’s article in The Guardian here.

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