Half of UK households are cutting back on meals, according to a survey conducted by consumer group 'Which?'.
Millions in the UK are skipping meals in the current cost-of-living crisis, the consumer group ‘Which?’ warned on Thursday. The group has already forecast risks that fuel poverty, following the UK government's move to curb its energy price freeze.
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The consumer group said that half of UK households are cutting back on the number of meals, according to a survey of 3,000 people. A similar proportion is finding it difficult to eat healthy meals, while almost 80 percent feel it is unaffordable.
Separately, the consumer group stated that the UK government's decision to curb its energy price freeze will lead to millions being unable to adequately heat their homes.
Newly-appointed Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt on Monday announced that the government will pull the plug on the flagship energy price freeze in April next year instead of late 2024.
"The government's decision to end universal energy support in April risks throwing millions of households across the country -- not just the most financially vulnerable -- into fuel poverty," warned Rocio Concha, head of policy and advocacy at Which?
The price freeze was aimed at protecting consumers from sky-high domestic fuel costs, which soared after energy producer Russia declared war on Ukraine. Thus, if the energy price freeze ends, the government needs to clarify how the people struggling to make ends meet will be supported and are not left out in the cold.
The UK has been blighted by strikes this year, as workers protest over wages that have failed to keep pace with runaway inflation. As per the retail prices index, inflation soared to 12.6 percent in September from 12.3 percent in August.
Earlier, the Food Foundation charity also said, one in five low-income families experienced food insecurity in September, which means more people went hungry last month than during the chaotic first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
As per the foundation's tracker, hunger levels have more than doubled since January with nearly 10 million adults and 4 million children unable to eat regular meals last month, the Guardian reported.
Due to the decision on the energy price freeze, people will be faced with "heat or eat" choices, where they are expected to rein in food spending further, while due to the recent squeeze some households are too poor to afford either.
(Edited by : Jerome Anthony)
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