Over half of UK adults are worried about how they are going to pay their bills over the next six months, new research finds
Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has today published new research which found that 53% of UK adults are worried about how they are going to be able to afford to pay their bills over the next six months. When comparing households with children, the research found that 51% of adults with no children in their household said that they are worried about how they were going to pay their bills compared to 73% of adults with three or more children currently in their household. 
The research, conducted by YouGov, found that nearly half of UK adults (48%) say that their household’s current financial situation is negatively impacting their mental health, with women (51%) more likely to agree with this statement than men (44%). In a similar question asked in 2019, 34% of UK adults said that their household’s current financial situation is negatively impacting their mental health, rising to 35% in 2020. 
43% of adults with no children in their household said that their financial situation is negatively impacting their mental health, compared to 63% of adults with one child, 64% of adults with two children and 66% of adults with three or more children in their household. 
When asked if people felt that they would need to rely on community support such as food banks or warm banks over the next six months, the research found that 18% of people in Wales said they would need to rely on community support, compared with 15% of people living in the North, North East and North West England, 12% in London, 11% in the Midlands, 8% in the East and South of England and 6% of those living in Scotland. 
In addition, the research found that 34% of adults with three or more children in their household said that they would need to rely on community support over the next six months. The percentage of people from different age groups who said they would need community support include 17% of 25–34-year-olds, 16% of 35–44-year-olds, 15% of 18–24-year-olds, 10% of 45–55-year-olds and 5% of those aged 55 or older. 
This new research comes as BITC launches an action plan for businesses to ensure that they are doing everything they can to reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on employees, consumers, suppliers, and community organisations. The calls to action include:
- Pay the Real Living Wage to employees and contractors
- Ensure employees have the option to work flexibly
- Understand the needs of your lower income and vulnerable customers, and how the cost-of-living crisis will impact them
- Provide products and services that are genuinely affordable to increase choice for lower income consumers
- Share goods and equipment with community organisations that are working with lower income and vulnerable people.
- Support your supply chain to reduce their energy and resource use
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said:
“The cost-of-living crisis is naturally causing worry, stress and anxiety for millions of people. As our research found, over half of UK adults are worried about how they are going to pay their bills. While this is also a very difficult time for businesses, there are some straightforward actions that business could be taking to look after their most vulnerable employees, customers and the communities around them.”
Notes to editor
- Read the full Business in the Community Cost of Living Action Plan for Businesses here.
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,019 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 7th October 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
- BITC Mental Health at Work survey was conducted by YouGov in 2019 and 2020.
For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy, on 07702 903 216.
About Business in the Community
Business in the Community (BITC) and our network of business members are leading a movement to create a fair and sustainable world in which to live in work. Formed in 1982, and with His Majesty King Charles III as our Royal Founding Patron, we are the largest and longest-established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We work and campaign with more than 600 members to continually grow their responsible business practices, uniting our efforts for greater social and environmental impact in our communities.