‘Staggering’ figures show that four in ten Welsh households struggling to buy anything beyond basic essentials
Four in every ten Welsh households do not have enough money to buy anything beyond everyday essentials, new figures have revealed.
The data collected by YouGov was described as “staggering” by the Bevan Foundation who commissioned the poll.
Combined with data from the Welsh Government’s household estimates it suggest that 165,000 households struggle to even cover essential purchases.
Dr Steffan Evans of the Bevan Foundation said that the number of households who are struggling to cover even their basic costs is now greater than the number of households in Cardiff, “placing families in significant hardship.”
“The cost of living crisis has already hit the headlines this winter but this latest data clearly sets out what this means for families,” he said.
The data show that nearly a third of Welsh households (33 per cent) have had to cut back on their heating, electricity and/ or water since the summer (33 per cent), whilst more than a quarter (26 per cent) have cut back on the food for adults.
Between May and November more than one in twenty households with one child (6 per cent) and one in ten households with two children (10 per cent) reported cutting back on food for children.
On top of this a quarter of households with two children (25 per cent) reported having to cut back on items for children such as clothing, toys, nappies and books.
Reacting to the data Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group said it was “shocking” how many children in Wales are going without essentials because their families didn’t have enough money to make ends meet.
“The picture is particularly bleak for parents who are unable to work because they are disabled or caring for young children,” she said. “With little going towards these families in the UK Government’s recent budget and spending review, the Welsh Government should step up its support to protect them from deeper poverty.”
The data suggests that the Welsh public are supportive of some of the actions being taken by the Welsh Government to help families.
There is support for providing emergency to struggling families (71 per cent), providing universal free school meals (55 per cent), and extending free part-time childcare to all children from nine months (55 per cent).
“Given the extent of the crisis facing Welsh families this winter and the popular support for many of the policies set out in the recent Labour/ Plaid Cymru Co-operation Agreement, there is a real case for the Welsh Government to accelerate the implementation of some of the policies its already announced to ensure that families can get the maximum support they need this winter,” Steffan Evans.
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