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More Britons struggling to pay their bills: Poll shows

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
People walk past street market stalls in east London, Britain January 12, 2021. (Reuters photo)

More British people are finding it difficult to pay their bills and an increasing number are concerned about not being able to heat their homes this winter, according to a new poll.

Thirty-nine percent of people were finding it more difficult to meet their monthly budget than a year ago, up by nine percent from September's poll, showed the monthly survey by Kantar Public published on Thursday.

The poll, which also underlined the impact of rising inflation on the public, showed 7 in 10 respondents are worried that fresh food and fuel prices would increase over the next few months.

The number of people concerned about being unable to afford to keep their home warm during the winter months increased by nine percent between September and October reaching 62%, Kantar said.

Utility bills in the UK went up earlier this month as a price cap on the most widely used tariffs rose by around 12%.

The country's most widely followed measure of inflation fell marginally to 3.1% in September but, according to the Bank of England, it is likely to top 4% soon. It is now contemplating when to increase interest rates from their all-time low of 0.1%.

Kantar interviewed 1,075 people between Oct. 14 and Oct. 18.

The survey comes as there are increasing concerns over the bad impacts of scrapping the £20 Universal Credit uplift on poor families in the country.

The temporary increase was brought in last year to help during the Covid-19 pandemic but was controversially stopped earlier this month.

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