A new survey commissioned by the national charity Turn2us has found that 57% of low income working households feel their financial situation has worsened in the last year. Despite signs of an improving economy, half of all people surveyed are worried about their financial situation as they struggle with a combination of falling wages, shorter working hours and rising living costs.
The survey, released to coincide with Turn2us? annual Benefits Awareness Month, has found that on average, working households are forced to spend half of their monthly income on utility bills and food. Worryingly, nearly two-fifths (39%) say their outgoings now outweigh their earnings. Households are also facing barriers as they try to improve their situation. With 1.4 million in part-time jobs nationally – 46,000 higher than a year ago – over half (57%) say they want to work more hours but they cannot get the work. While a quarter of those surveyed (25%) have seen a fall in their income in the last year.
Over half of the 13 million people living in poverty in the UK are now from working households. Turn2us? research found that over three-fifths (62%) are not claiming the benefits and tax credits they may be entitled to. Even more alarming, a huge 60% had not even checked their eligibility for benefits.
Benefits Awareness Month is 16th April – 16th May and brought to you by Turn2us. Turn2us is a brilliant site helps you calculate what benefits you could be entitled to. They do a lot more than just checking you may be entitled to, they have advisors who can answer your questions on their free and confidential helpline. They have info on grants and charitable funds too.
They launched their new campaign, Be Aware, yesterday to focus on the huge amount of people who are in work but finding it hard to make ends meet. Throughout the campaign, people in work but on low incomes – no matter if they are working full time or off work due to injury or long-term illness – can visit the Turn2us ‘Be Aware’ campaign pages for information on benefits such as Working Tax Credits. They can also discover what they may be entitled to claim by using their free and easy-to-use Turn2us Benefits Calculator.
Make a ‘Be Aware’ Lunchtime Pledge
They are looking for people to join their ‘Lunchtime Pledge’ and carry out a benefits calculation using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator. Whether they are in work but on a low income; know someone struggling to make ends meet; or are working with people in financial need, we want as many people as possible to raise awareness of the fact that support is available.
Tell them your story of in-work poverty
They also want to hear about the experiences of people struggling with in-work poverty, so they can build a picture of what life is really like for those on low incomes. During the campaign, the ‘Be Aware’ campaign pages will have a link to their ‘Share Your Story’ form.