A series of reports and official figures released this week paint a stark picture of how working class people are suffering under the Tories.
Four out of five people referred to food banks have had to skip meals, a major study commissioned by the Trussell Trust charity found. Some had gone days for food—and half said they could not afford heating or toiletries.
Oxford University researchers questioned 400 households for the study.
Most were referred to food banks after an “income shock”, often linked to benefit delays or rising food and housing costs.
But this was against a background of chronic low pay.
Around half said their income was “unsteady” from week to week.
Meanwhile around 2.5 million households in England struggled to pay their fuel bills in 2015, the latest year for which official figures are available.
Some 11 percent of households faced heating bills that pushed them below the poverty line, a slight increase on 2014. They faced bills on average £350 more than they could pay.
Lone parent households were the worst hit, with 23.6 percent, in difficulties paying the heating bills.
Poor quality, uninsulated homes were often to blame.
Peter Smith of the charity National Energy Action said the continuing rise of fuel poverty was “hugely disappointing” and “not acceptable”.
It’s not just the very poorest who are suffering.
The same hypocritical bosses who warn us that we must “tighten our belts” and “live within our means” are now fretting about an overall fall in consumer spending.
Disposable incomes fell by 1.4 percent in real terms in the first three months of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).That’s despite people spending money they would otherwise have saved.
The amount set aside for savings has hit its lowest level since records began more than 50 years ago.
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) also reported a fall in people saving.