Posted December 20, 2023
The Office for National Statistics has today published its latest Consumer Prices Index, which shows the rate of inflation at 3.9 percent in the 12 months to November 2023.
Findings from National Debtline reveal the scale of the impact of the cost of living on households this Christmas:
- One in seven (14 percent) UK adults say they won’t be able to put the heating on as much as they need this December. For people in debt this rises to one in five (21 percent).
- 2.7 million people (5 percent) are having to choose between buying food or presents.
- 14.4 million people who celebrate Christmas (30 percent) are planning to cut back on the number of presents they buy. This rises to 43 percent for people in debt.
- 6.1 million (13 percent) are only planning to buy presents for children, this rising to more than one in six (18 percent) for people in debt.
National Debtline is urging anyone worrying about money to talk to one of their advisers. The charity has released a video highlighting the impact seeking debt advice can have for people experiencing financial difficulty.
David Cheadle, Acting Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:
“This latest drop in inflation is welcome – but for millions of households the pain caused by sustained high prices is set to continue.
“Our findings show the scale of the impact with 6.5 million people struggling to heat their homes as much as they need this Christmas. With energy prices rising in January and energy arrears at a record £2.9 billion, for the millions of people trapped in debt, the situation is only going to get harder.
“I would urge anyone worried about money this Christmas to speak to National Debtline as soon as possible. Dedicated support is also needed urgently to support people in unaffordable energy arrears. The Government must act by bringing in a temporary Help to Repay scheme via payment matching and write off.” National Debtline provides free, independent, expert advice. Contact us free on 0808 808 4000 or via www.nationaldebtline.org