A new survey has indicated that the soaring cost of gas and electricity is seriously restricting household spending.
According to September’s Asda Income Tracker, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the average British household was left with £163 per week to spend after energy bills last month – down by £15 from August, the largest monthly fall in four years, and 8.4 per cent less than September 2010.
“Family spending power continues to be under significant pressure from fragile wage growth, rising unemployment levels and soaring consumer price inflation,” said CEBR spokesman Charles Davis. “As utility price increases continue to feed through into erosions in family budgets, a tough couple of months lie ahead.”
One in three people polled singled out energy prices as the “biggest drain on the family purse”, with the cost of gas having risen by an average of 22.3 per cent over the last year and electricity up by nearly 13 per cent. Petrol prices were also highlighted as an area of concern, having surged by 17.7 per cent since last September.
Last week, a study from Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics warned high utilities bills could be putting the health of those on lower incomes at risk.