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Third of UK citizens would struggle to find extra £20 amid economic crisis: Poll

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)
A woman holds British Pound banknotes in this illustration taken May 30, 2022.(Photo by Reuters)

More than a third of UK adults would find it difficult or impossible to cover a £20 increase to their monthly outgoings, a new research shows, indicating that the cost of living crisis shows no sign of abating.

Polling for Citizens Advice indicated that 37 percent of those surveyed would struggle or be unable to cope with a £20 increase in their monthly outgoings, as the cost of living crisis hits household finances, the Guardian reported.

The charity said people were increasingly resorting to desperate measures to get by, such as eating only cold meals.

“Millions of households are at financial breaking point: running down savings, going without bare essentials and turning to food banks to get by,” said the charity’s Chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty.

 “We’re already seeing record numbers of people coming to us for crisis support and this research shows people simply cannot cut back any further.

The polling of 2,000 British adults by Public First between December 5 and 9 found that 23 percent of respondents had spent more money on essentials than they had coming in over the last three months.

Two-thirds of these (67 percent) said they could only keep this up for six months or less without additional support.

A third of respondents said they had to dip into their savings in the last three months to get by.

More than half (56 percent) of this group has either run out of savings or expects to do so in the next three months, the polling found.

Persistent financial stress is taking its toll, with 28 percent of those polled losing sleep at least once a week over their finances, the charity says.

The charity called for the government to set out a clear plan on how it will target support to people who are struggling.

The UK has been grappling with persistent economic woes for the past few months, with the inflation rate rising to record-high numbers, causing the Bank of England to raise the interest rates and increase the pressure on ordinary citizens.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in his New Year message on Saturday that the country’s problems will not “go away” in 2023, laying the responsibility of the UK’s worsening economic situation on the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Sunak, however, promised continuing military and financial support for Ukraine amid efforts at home to address the cost of living crisis.

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