Rising living costs are leaving thousands of Welsh families struggling to cope financially, with many cutting back on food and heating to try to make ends meet, according to new research published today.
The shocking figures, published by Citizens Advice Cymru and Shelter Cymru, were announced by Llanelli MP Nia Griffith at the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli.
The research reveals that seventy per cent of Welsh adults are worried about the rising cost of living and more than half are struggling to keep up with bills and credit commitments. The price of food, petrol and energy are particular concerns; nearly half of those questioned (48 per cent) said that they were consciously cutting back on their use of gas and electricity and 37 per cent are spending less on groceries.
Meanwhile more than half of those who pay rent or a mortgage struggle with their payments, with 18 per cent struggling constantly. This figure has risen sharply over the last year – a similar survey in July 2013 showed that 12 per cent struggled constantly with paying their rent or mortgage.
Launching the report, Nia Griffith MP said:
“This report is absolutely horrifying, and it brings home the reality of just how close to the breadline thousands of people across Wales are. People are really struggling with the cost of living crisis, and are desperately trying to cut back on essentials like heating and eating. Citizens Advice and Shelter Cymru are on the frontline, and they see the fear misery on people’s faces every day; I would like to thank them for producing this report which should act as a wake-up call for Government – it is clear evidence that we need far-reaching changes to tackle this situation, such as a freeze on energy prices, an end to the unworkable bedroom tax and a commitment to bring the minimum wage up to 60% of average median earnings – as Labour is pushing for, as well as sensible benefit reform, not the shambles we are seeing with the current changes.”