Many people are yet to feel the benefits of the apparent economic upturn and face daily money worries, according to new report.
Evidence from Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) reveals that people still worry about having enough money left each week to pay bills, housing costs and even struggle to put food on the table.
The report, based on data from the last four years, shows that the kinds of financial problems faced by people seeking advice is changing.
People seeking advice on consumer debt including loans and credit cards has fallen 12% since 2011. There are also a third fewer enquiries about Jobseeker’s Allowance, dismissal and redundancy since 2011, say the CAB.
However, the number of people needing help with rent and other bills has increased by 8% over the same period. There has also been sharp rise in the number of self-employed people turning to the charity for help – up by 50% in just four years. Requests for advice about gas, electricity and oil have also doubled since 2011, the report says.
And it’s not only the poorest people in society who are struggling to make their incomes stretch. Of those with a combined household income of over £70,000 a year, one in four (25%) admit to worrying about debt and nearly half (48%) worry about not having enough money for their family’s future. 38% said they regularly think about there own job security.
Technology changes have resulted in a 20% decrease in problems paying landline telephone costs, while the number of people needing advice about mobile phones is up 16%.
People are not only experiencing work and money worries. Since 2011, the CAB has witnessed a 40% increase in people reporting problems related to public services. This includes complaints about health, education and public transport.
The report is published ahead of this weeks Queens Speech, where the Conservative Government will set out its plans and objectives for the next five years – including a £12bn cut to welfare spending.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The economic recovery is on track but people still face day to day worries about their finances. As the Government sets out its agenda for the next five years, there is an opportunity to look afresh at the challenges people face today.
“Citizens Advice is seeing a shift in some of the types of issues people turn to us for help with; queries around unemployment are decreasing, mirroring the fall in national figures, and the number of people seeking help with consumer debts is also down.
“But we know that despite this many people still have day to day worries about paying bills and rent, and an increasing number of people are seeking our help for problems with consumer and public services.”