Don’t earn enough to eat?

May 7th, 2013 33 Comments By Thewlis

trolley 300x225 Don’t earn enough to eat?Our good friends over at Which! Have been surveying people again, and the news is not great. Far from the improving position politicians would have us believe, Which!’s latest Consumer Insight Tracker  estimates that 1 in 5 of us, that’s 5 million people, are using borrowed money or savings to pay for food.

Although these are largely low-income households, with 45% of this group earning £21,000 or less (against the national average household income of £37,000), the most affected age group is the 30-49 year olds. Sixty-three percent of families unable to meet their food bill have children.

Which! executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“Our tracker shows that many households are stretched to their financial breaking point, with rising food prices one of the top worries for squeezed consumers. It’s simply shocking that so many people need to use savings or credit to pay for essentials like food.”

Part of the reason for the struggle is that income (and benefits) have failed to keep pace with inflation. Food prices have increased by an even greater sum; Which! Researchers calculate the average wekly food bill is now around £76, a 4% increase from last year. If you are facing a 1% pay rise, or a pay freeze, that extra cost has to be met from somewhere.

Of the people who have had to borrow or dip into savings just to eat:

82% were worried about food prices with 55% saying they would have to cut back food spending in the next few months

57% said they were struggling on their income with 32% borrowing from family and friends in April

With council cuts also starting to bite, some local authorities are turning to the voluntary sector to provide food for residents hit by cuts. Birmingham City Council’s Cllr John Cotton told the Guardian that the cuts were immoral and that councils were doing what they could to help people:

“It’s back to the 1930s. Here we are, mapping out foodbanks. It’s actually immoral, but we have to support people and help them.”

Overall, the number of people surveyed by Which! who describe themselves as ‘squeezed’ is up to 36%. That’s 9 million people.

A government spokesman said nine out of 10 working households would be better off as a result of last month’s changes to the tax and benefit system – with the average working household better off by more than £300 a year.

Guess the other 10% of workers and anyone not working can starve then.

Comments (33) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Avon Barksdale May 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    When the UK falls from the top spot in European obesity tables, THEN I’ll believe people are struggling.

  2. Posted by Seymour May 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    £76 a week on fucking food? maybe if they stopped spending shit tons of money on the processed ready meals, calorific pizza’s and salty tins of beans and started buying bulk, cheap ingredients for stews, pasta’s and rice based dishes they would only really paying around £20 – £30 for the food part of the weekly shop.

  3. Posted by Tom May 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Seymour that’s not £75 per person, it’s on ‘average’. I bet you could not price up a weeks worth of food for 4 people for £20.
    You gob shite.

    ’1 in 5 of us, .. are using borrowed money or savings to pay for food.’
    Yeah it’s called a credit card, most people have them. Pointless survey.

  4. Posted by Kevin May 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I wonder how many of those people aren’t cutting back on other things though.

    It’s a survey that pulls out numbers from a sample of 2000 people to represent everyone. I know it’s how it’s done, but it doesn’t mean it’s accurate.

  5. Posted by chewbaccca May 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm


    Surely you must have realised that Seymour was a moron when he wrote “pasta’s”?

    The fucking moron.

  6. Posted by Captain.Cretin May 8, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I earn less than a THIRD of the national average wage, my wife is not entitled to benefits and we have a baby, yet strangely we dont seem to have any problems paying for food.

    But then we dont smoke, drink much or have SKY, all of which tend to feature prominently in the average “poor” struggling household.

  7. Posted by Haggis May 8, 2013 at 7:24 am

    ^^ Cool story bro.

  8. Posted by shiftynifty May 8, 2013 at 7:46 am

    But then we dont smoke, drink much or have SKY, all of which tend to feature prominently in the average “poor” struggling household.
    Cretinous in it`s wording….you gotta love the divide and rule…

  9. Posted by chewbacca's dead mum's incestuous love child May 8, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Chewbacca gets fed at McD’ds as part of his contract

  10. Posted by Alexis May 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    @captain cretin – do you have a car, life insurance, contents insurance, buildings insurance, a pension scheme, credit cards, a mortgage or any friends to socialise with? What happens when your boiler breaks or your car needs £1k worth of repairs?

    This is real life, not one where every week costs the same as the last one.

  11. Posted by Maximus May 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Good. They waste money on booze, bingo, drugs and other crap.

  12. Posted by shiftynifty May 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

    But Alexis…thats why he is a cretin….
    Maximus…do you…all the great things in life…yeah

  13. Posted by chewbaccca May 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Good to see that fanny is still insisting that I work at a popular fast food chain. His limited intellect cannot formulate a better theory/insult than that.
    Still, what do you expect from the special sort of retard that can’t even spell “Tennent’s”?

    The fucking moron.

  14. Posted by Phuck Yu May 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Isn’t it Which??

  15. Posted by chewbacca May 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    You know, CDmilc, I do wonder why it matters so much to you. Is it because you were totally shown up when I called you out three separate times for not being able to spell “Tennent’s”?

    Indeed, I could make up any old shit about my job, car etc, so what’s the point?

  16. Posted by Seymour May 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I can afford to refer to multiple quantities of pasta AS pasta’s, because I am not poor and have more important things to do than sit around on random blog commenting on people’s spelling mistakes and pretending to be a giant furry twat like yourself.

    Probably because I own my own business, that makes more in a week than what you do in a year.

  17. Posted by Captain.Cretin May 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    @Alexis, the answers are as follows

    1/ yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no and yes. I also have a £1,000 electricity bill debt run up by my son while I was away in China for 6 months – it will get paid off, but it means no holiday this year

    2/ If the boiler breaks I fix it or replace it; it isnt that hard if you have a brain cell or two; ditto anything else that breaks, I currently have my dishwasher in pieces – a repair service would charge me £50 just to come out and look, the dealer part costs £25, but the actual fault is a 5p component; I was going to fix it over the bank holiday, but I spent the time working a Charity stall at a festival instead .

    3/ I take care of my cars, they regularly cost significantly less to run and need fewer repairs than ANY of my family or friends cars. Minor repairs and servicing I do myself, and anything requiring a garage goes to somewhere that knows I will watch them working and query anything I feel is not being done correctly; the last franchised garage that tried to rip me off lost their franchise after I caught them red-handed trying to cover up damage they had done and falsify fault repairs.

    @Shiftynifty – WTF???? Any chance you might one day post something useful, or are you just a retarded loser who lives his life online to hide how sad and lonely they are in real life?

  18. Posted by chewbacca May 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    However, never let it be said that I ignore my fans.

    So, I don’t work in fast food (or retail for that matter). I’m a resource manager for a medium sized FTSE250 company.

    I own a VW Passat, I don’t technically own my own house (the bank owns around 60% of it).

    So, there you go. Mind-crushingly average. To escape the tedium, I pose as a 2nd rate antagonist on a 3rd rate blog.

    Regarding the “tantrum”, all I did was highlight how some (you) don’t have the intellect to know when they’ve crossed a line. But then, it’s the internet, people wouldn’t date say similar to my face.

    Anyway, my third rate troll friend, I’ve taken off my mask; are you able to to take off yours?

  19. Posted by chewbacca May 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    @Jayne Seymour

    Yes, that most definitely is the right way to describe lots of pasta. Which you obviously do, as you own your own multi-hundred pound business.

    Look, you don’t own your own business, don’t be silly. Unless you count sucking off sailors at the docks, then of course, you do, and I apologise.

    Isn’t it funny how stupid little children on the internet always escalate to claiming they have a business/lots of money/a Ferrari when they get embarrassed? Or take the “higher” ground and claim they have better things to do than post comments on shitty blogs whilst commenting on shitty blogs? Funny that.

    Oh, time for my catchphrase:

    You fucking morons.

  20. Posted by Dick Rangerous May 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Chewie, I have to say you’re on form tonight!

  21. Posted by shiftynifty May 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Captain Cretin..oh Captain Cretin…have you cleaned your keyboard yet..the bile can get into all sorts of places…oh and your meaningless life…not really for the internet is it…your electricity bill…china…son…car…GTFO and allow someone interesting to post ….kapish….

  22. Posted by Apostrophe police May 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    @ Jane Seymore

    Hahaaa Pasta’s…..and again Hahaaa Pizza’s

    You unnecessary use of an apostrophe business owning dick!
    I am poor an have lots of time to post this crap.

  23. Posted by Captain.Cretin May 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Spot the deliberate mistake.

    “I see CDmilc hasn’t bothered to respond to my post, probably too fucking stupid to realise there’s an “older” posts button on the front page.

    @Comma Fireman – don’t take the piss out of Jayne, it’s obviously difficult running your own imaginary business when you can’t even use punctuation properly. ”

    Kettle Pot Black??

    @ Shifty – Really??, that is the best you can come up with?? You really think your drivel is more interesting???????

  24. Posted by Shiftyniftysshadow May 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

    C’mon cretin…stop being a cretin….and stop posting dribble or drivel

  25. Posted by Captain.Cretin May 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

    My posts are such drivel that I have just been given extra posting privileges at The Register, whereas all you and Chewy can do is swear at people.

    My last post in this thread.

  26. Posted by Cretinous capitan May 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

    @Captain.Cretin: Kudos to you. You da man.

  27. Posted by paul barrow May 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    you should just count yourself lucky captain cretain all people who are struggling are not lazy sky watching benefit cheats

  28. Posted by planet May 12, 2013 at 4:21 am

    @ Chewbacca

    I’d rather say I worked for McDonalds than say I was in ‘middle management’

    you ‘whiteboard’ ‘blue sky thinking’ moron.

  29. Posted by ryouga May 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Actually £20 a week is doable, £30 is better for a family of 4.

    My parents have done it for years as they are on basic retirement money and have tons of leftovers that they give away to neighbours who all have good jobs but struggle to pay debts.

    Its just about bulking up meals and realising that premium meats and products doesnt mean premium quality, cheap stuff can be just as good, my parents make a lot of stews, soups and home made fish or sheperds pie.

  30. Posted by Terry K May 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong with being middle management, but i would never wwant to work at a fat food restaurant. I’ve never met anyone who does, but lots aspire to be middle management of companies.

    I think the comments on this article have come away from the actual topic and is now filled with pointless bickering, and lies.

    Not everyone can manage their money so well, not every one is debt free when they are forced to collect benefits, and not everyone on benefits is taking advantage of the benefits system.

  31. Posted by tom May 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    @Terry K
    I read up to ‘being middle management’ and fell asleep.
    Good thing my fox woke me up for some ̶b̶a̶d̶g̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ buggering.

  32. Posted by Mike Oxsore May 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

    @Terry K

    You’re new here aren’t you.

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