Families cut back on food and fuel

19 January 2012

Photo of a family in the kitchen

More than one in five people have cut their spending on gas and electricity to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months – a 60% increase since 2008.

A new survey from Shelter also reveals that just over one in three of us have spent less on food to pay our housing costs, a rise of 44% over the same period.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: ‘These staggering findings show just how many millions of people are cutting back on essentials as the continued squeeze on incomes starts to really bite.'

'It demonstrates the tough choices families are now having to make, between heating their home, putting a decent meal on the table or paying for the roof over their head.’

Shelter is urging anyone who is struggling to pay their rent or mortgage to seek advice as early as possible, to try to prevent them putting their home at risk. 

About the survey

* YouGov conducted a nationally representative survey of 4,014 adults in Great Britain in December 2011, commissioned by Shelter. The results equate to 10 million people reducing the amount they spend on fuel for the home, and 16 million people reducing spending on food to meet their housing costs.