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New polling in Wales reveals people left with no money after bills

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a man talking to a woman with documents on a desk
a man talking to a woman with documents on a desk

New polling from Citizens Advice Cymru shows one hundred thousand households have no money left after bills have been paid.

The worrying snapshot reveals the state of play in Wales just months before the energy price cap is predicted to rise again in October to £3,244 for an average annual household bill.

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Polling also reveals a third of people anticipate needing to cut back on accessing advice, services and utilities online to make ends meet.

The figures form part of a new briefing by Citizens Advice Cymru to be unveiled to Welsh employers as part of an event (Thursday 21st July) on the cost of living hosted by Business in the Community.

The briefing shows that 33% of people in Wales anticipate needing to cut down or stop spending on broadband in the next 6 months, with 100,000 households (8%) already living on a ‘negative budget’ – left with £0 or less for food and other costs after paying for housing and other recurring bills.

Since March, Citizens Advice say they have helped more than 2,000 people in Wales access fuel vouchers and 7,700 people with food bank referrals.

Speaking at BITC Cymru’s business roundtable of the cost of living, Luke Young, Head of Policy and Campaigns, said: “Many households are barely making it to payday with enough left for essentials. Record numbers are accessing our services for food and fuel crisis support.

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“We cannot lose sight of the potential damage lack of access to mobile and broadband services could cause. Access to the internet is crucial for so much in everyday life. It’s used to help buy food, manage bills, book appointments, and help children with their learning. It is a modern day essential.

“Our new research shows that for some people disconnecting broadband and mobile is one way to reduce costs. We have real concerns it will cut off access to important online advice, banking and public services. This is no time for people to be isolated from the world. We must do what we can to ensure access to advice and support services – public-facing businesses have an important role to play.”

Sue Husband, Director of Business in the Community Cymru, said: “The cost of living crisis affects everyone, but we know that some communities face harder pressures than others, particularly as rising costs have pushed many working people into poverty. No household should have to worry about whether they can pay their bills or put food on the table. Together with partners like Citizens Advice Cymru, we are striving to find solutions to this crisis by working with Welsh businesses, local authorities and voluntary organisations to support those who are suffering most at this time.”

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