Cost of living crisis: Swindon residents borrow from loan sharks and miss meals
The grim findings of a new survey reveal just how badly the people of Swindon are coping with the cost of living crisis.
Conducted by Citizen’s Advice Swindon, the survey asked residents how they felt about soaring energy, fuel and food prices.
He also asked what changes they had already made or were planning to make, what kind of support they needed to access as a result, and the effect on their health.
The results paint a grim picture, with 22% of participants saying they skipped meals and one in two saying they were buying less food for themselves and their family.
Just under a third of those who responded also said they had to borrow money to meet rising costs, pushing them further into debt.
One in four are worried about how they will pay their rent or mortgage and one in three don’t think they could cut any more than they already have.
Households across the UK are experiencing the biggest drop in income on record with inflation set to peak at 13%, interest rates dropping from 1.25% to 1.75%, petrol recently hitting 2 £ per liter and annual energy bills are expected to hit £4,266 per household in January – up from around £1,400 a year ago.
To combat this, the survey found that 29% of respondents had turned to some form of borrowing to meet rising costs, including loans from family and friends.
Of those who borrowed, 31% had taken out more than one loan and 44 respondents had turned to payday loans, door-to-door moneylenders or loan sharks to make ends meet.
A spokesperson for Citizens Advice said: “Since April, our referrals to our local food bank and charity support have increased by 35%, and we expect this to continue to increase.
“This year we have seen a steady and continuing increase in the number of people coming to Citizens Advice Swindon for help with their debt problems. energy or water. in people who owe money to friends and family.”
To contact Citizens Advice call 0808 2787813 Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm or complete the contact form at www.citizensadviceswindon.org.uk/contact-form