The Guardian reports that poor households are cutting food costs to cope with rising fuel bills, shrinking incomes and government changes, like bedroom tax.

Low-income households spend an average of £2.10 a person a day on groceries, having cut their daily food budget drastically since the summer, according to the latest instalment of a survey on the impact of welfare reform.

The detailed survey of more than 87 families found that a third said they now spent less than £20 a week on food, partly to cope with spiralling gas and electricity bills, while more than half said they had no money left once bills were paid.

The Real Life Reform survey examined the finances and everyday habits of tenants in eight housing associations in north-west England and Yorkshire in October. One in five tenants were in work. The average household weekly income for social housing tenants in the region is £265 a week.

One tenant quoted in the report said: "We don't have breakfast and dinner now. We have one meal a day. We've been doing that for about two months and we've got used to it."

Frank Field, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on hunger and food poverty, told the Guardian the hardship demonstrated in the report reflected already established trends that had been made worse by welfare reform.

"It begins to explain why people have fallen back on food banks as one way of making an inadequate budget stretch further."

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "… our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities with the universal credit making 3 million households better off – the majority of these from the bottom two-fifths of the income scale."

Comment: unfortunately only just over 2,000 people are currently “benefitting” from the new Universal Credit system, and none of those have families, as the pilot is only being carried out on single jobseeking claimants

Read the full report here

Our thanks to Pre-Raphaelite Sister for spotting this news article for us


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.