Home North Pole Economy A third say they couldn’t afford to heat their home this winter

A third say they couldn’t afford to heat their home this winter

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The rising cost of living is hitting low-wage workers harder than the pandemic, as many are falling behind on household bills and routinely skipping meals, according to a new report.

A study by the Living Wage Foundation found that nearly one in five workers took out a payday loan to cover basic needs in the past year.

A survey of 1,700 workers earning less than the voluntary real living wage found nearly two in five fell behind on household bills and a similar number regularly skipped meals for financial reasons.

Almost a third of respondents said they had been unable to keep their homes warm this winter.

Women were more likely to have fallen behind on household bills and skipped meals, the foundation said.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Our poll paints a troubling picture for millions of people as the rising cost of living compounds the challenges of two years of pandemic.

“Nearly two-fifths of low-wage workers report falling behind on basic household bills, one-third having had to skip meals, and we’ve seen an increase in the use of payday loans, and all of these trends have increased since 2020. .

“There is no better way for companies to provide protection and reward for their staff than by joining over 9,000 living wage employers to ensure that everyone who works for them, including the people who have kept us going during the pandemic like cleaners and security guards, are earning the real Living Wage.”

Dave Innes, head of economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Work should provide a way out of poverty, but a combination of low pay, too few hours and precarious work means that many low-paid workers risk real hardship. as the cost of living increases.

“It is deeply worrying that so many low-wage workers are already skipping meals and going into debt.

“With inflation expected to reach 7% in April, it is clear that low-income people, who spend a higher proportion of their income on basic necessities, are at the most acute end of the crisis. “

The report says the rising cost of living is hitting workers harder than the impact of the pandemic.