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Most British adults struggling to pay bills as UK economic crisis worsens

A British £5 note bearing the image of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill with the iconic Conservative Party leader's first speech in parliament depicted on the bill, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." (File photo by AFP)

More than half the adults in the United Kingdom are struggling to make ends meet amid the country's economic crisis, according to a new survey by a watchdog group.

The Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) latest Financial Lives survey reported on Friday that nearly 32 million people or 60 percent of the country's adult population were having trouble paying their bills due to the rise in the cost of living.

Rising food and fuel prices coupled with an unprecedented increase in the inflation rate in past years plunged many Brits into dire economic straits.

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The FCA's survey found that 4.2 million people were not able to pay their bills or credit repayments in the past six months on time. This is up from the 3.8 million people in 2020.

"One in four UK adults are in financial difficulty or could quickly find themselves in difficulty if they suffered a financial shock," the FCA survey reported, noting that 27 percent of the country's Black population said they found it a heavy burden to keep up with bills, compared with 15 percent of all UK adults.

The FCA interviewed more than 19,000 people between February and June 2022 for the survey which it said was the biggest of its kind till now.

A related report by UK watchdog English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) showed that more British women were being forced into prostitution as the country's economic crisis gets worse due to the government's failed policies.

Protesters staging rallies in London and other British cities, blame Downing Street for the economic problems.

Protesters are demanding that the government take due action to resolve the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, the consecutive Tory governments blame the soaring cost of living on the global energy price hikes.

In the meantime, Liz Truss, the embattled Tory prime minister resigned just six weeks after she was elected as prime minister.

She said on Thursday that she had failed to deliver on her promises and therefore she would resign so somebody more competent could possibly fill her place.

"I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected ... [therefore] I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party."

In past weeks, Truss' economic plan thrust the UK economy in free-fall, making the dire situation worse than before her premiership.

"I wanted to act but to help people with their energy bills to deal with the issue of high taxes, but we went too far and too fast," she explained.

Truss' tax-cutting plan triggered the market meltdown, prompting more than a dozen fellow Conservatives to publicly call for her resignation.

"I do want to accept responsibility and say sorry for the mistakes that have been made," Truss said.

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