A snapshot of poverty in winter 2023

ReportsResourcesFebruary 2nd, 2023

New Bevan Foundation research reveals the extent of the hardship caused by the cost-of-living crisis 

The Bevan Foundation’s Snapshot of Poverty series is a vital tool for anyone who wants to understand poverty in Wales. With high inflation dominating the headlines our latest Snapshot takes a deeper look at who is being pushed into severe hardship by rising living costs.

The report is divided into three sections. The first section sets out to provide an overview of how people in Wales are managing rising costs. The second section looks in greater detail at the experiences of the groups that are being most affected by rising costs. The final section explores the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on people’s health.

Among the key findings of the report are:

The latest Snapshot survey contains some good news. There has been no significant national level deterioration in how households in Wales are managing with rising living costs nor in the number of people in debt, since the publication of our last Snapshot of Poverty report in July 2022. This does not mean that the grip of the cost-of-living crisis on Wales is easing. There has been no improvement in national level data on the impact of the crisis. This means that very high numbers of families in Wales are facing considerable financial hardship through this winter.

Across Wales:

  • More than one in eight households (14 per cent) either sometimes, often or always do not have enough for all the basics.
  • Large numbers of people are going without essentials including four in ten going without heating in their home and one in four eating smaller meals or skipping meals in their entirety.
  • Debt is a significant problem with 28 per cent of people borrowing money between October 2022 and January 2023 and 13 per cent being in arrears on at least one bill.
  • More than one in ten people (11 per cent) are concerned about the prospect of losing their home over the next three months with some indication that mortgage holders are becoming increasingly concerned.

The cost-of-living crisis is not affecting everyone in Wales equally. The extent of the hardship faced by some groups in Wales is worrying. Among the groups that are being most significantly affected are:

  • People in receipt of benefits – people on Universal Credit are five times as likely to report that they sometimes, often or always struggle to afford the basics as the general population.
  • Disabled people whose condition limits them a lot – over half (52 per cent) have gone without heating in their home over the past three months.
  • Social renters – nearly half (46 per cent) report that they have had to cut back on food for themselves or skip meals in the three months to January 2023.
  • Households with children – around twice as likely to be in debt as a result of the cost-of-living crisis as households with no children.
  • Adults under the age of 65 – twice as likely to report that their household sometimes, often or always struggled to afford the basics as households over 65 years old.
  • Unpaid carers – significantly more likely to have borrowed money between October and January than people who are not carers.

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting people’s health:

  • Nearly half of people in Wales (48 per cent) report that their mental health is being negatively affected by their financial position.
  • Three in ten report that their physical health has been negatively affected by their financial position.
  • A combination of going without essential goods and services, and broader factors such as an inability to participate in hobbies are having an impact on people’s health.

Pages: 23

Format: PDF

Language: English

Cost: Free



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