A new survey by debt charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has revealed the human impact of the escalating cost of living crisis on UK households.
The Fight Against Poverty report says more than half of the UK adult population has lost sleep worrying about their finances and a third of adults have skipped meals.
The survey of over 2,000 adults in the UK found that 50 per cent of UK adults had gone without heat over the winter while two-thirds of people living in local communities have seen poverty levels increase.
“What's really scary is that four or five people expect [poverty in their locality] to get worse over the coming year,” CAP's Senior External Affairs Manager Rachel Gregory tells Premier millions of people in the UK are struggling in sub-standard conditions as a result of poverty.
“Every day, we're hearing from people who are really struggling. One of our centre managers recently worked with a client who couldn't afford to eat - it was out of the question.
“They didn't have an oven in the house so couldn't cook. They made a makeshift hob with a bowl over a bowl of boiling water and it's just not acceptable that that's the standard of living people are facing in the UK today.”
According to the report 65 per cent of adults think that the cost of bills and essentials will put a significant burden on their finances this year.
On Tuesday the British Retail Consortium reported fresh food had risen by 17 per cent in 12 months.
Gregory says that for many, their incomes cannot keep pace with the rising cost of living and the pressure is having both a financial and emotional impact on UK households.
The government recently announced that from April, low-income households, pensioners and some disabled people will be eligible to receive additional cost-of-living payments worth hundreds of pounds to help with their energy bills and other costs.
CAP is calling for a unified response from policy makers, energy providers, utilities companies and financial services to provide targeted funding for local debt help.