NEARLY one million households cannot afford to pay two or more essential bills, the IPPR think tank reported yesterday.
It said that households across the country were in the grip of an “income crisis” and called for impoverished families to be given access to free gas and electricity for a time to help them cope.
The most common bill households struggled to pay on time was council tax, followed by electricity, water and gas.
Rents and mortgages were usually the largest outgoing cost, although households were less likely to fall into arrears with those.
Nearly 90 per cent of those dealing with an income crisis were unable to save £10 or more per month, the IPPR said.
The think tank is urging the government to provide support such as fuel banks where suppliers would provide free gas and electricity supplies to people in need for a short time.
IPPR researcher Darren Baxter said: “Worries about paying the next food, utility or council tax bill are the daily reality for many households.”