Millions across the UK are living without household essentials
a press release from Turn2us, a national charity helping people who are struggling financially.
New research from national poverty charity Turn2us reveals over two million households are living without essential household appliances such as fridges, freezers, cookers and washing machines.
The #LivingWithout campaign report outlines the scale of appliance poverty across the UK. It also highlights the financial, physical and emotional consequences experienced by people living without these basic essentials;
especially families and individuals affected by more complex physical and mental needs.
The analysis highlights the true scale of appliance poverty in the UK, with at least 1.9 million people living without a cooker, 900,000 without a fridge, 1.9 million people living without a washing machine and 2.8 million without a freezer. While the national scale is staggering, certain demographics are considerably more affected than others, such as private renters, the self-employed, single adults and households on incomes below £10,000. Some regions are also worse off, including people living in London, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and the North East.
Between 2017-2019, Turn2us surveyed over 10,000 service users and uncovered the impact of living without
essential household appliances.
“It is expensive to buy food already cooked, [but we have] limited options at home without a stove and oven”
“My family have concerns over my weight loss, they cook me food to make sure I have eaten”
“I have incontinence because of my epilepsy and I am unable to wash my clothes like I should, I feel so embarrassed”
The research and analysis from Turn2us shows that changes to welfare policy since 2010 has contributed significantly to the increase in appliance poverty. The abolition of the Social Fund in 2013, which previously provided support for those living without essential household appliances, has specifically been identified as the single biggest erosion of help. Of the 100 grant giving charities Turn2us spoke to as part of this campaign, over 70% identified the abolition of this crisis fund as a turning point. As a result of this, Turn2us is campaigning to develop a new system of Local Welfare Assistance Schemes to adequately replace the Social Fund.
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive at Turn2us, said: “Household appliances are not luxuries, they are essentials. Everyone deserves the simple right to store their own food, cook their own dinner and wash their own clothes. People who currently live without white goods face huge economic, physical and emotional penalties. We all want to live in a society where these social injustices are no longer tolerated.”
The report includes a series of recommendations including bolstering Local Welfare Assistance schemes, launching a Select Committee inquiry into Local Welfare Assistance schemes, raising awareness of alternatives to high-cost credit and raising the Local Housing Allowance rate to meet average rents.
If you’re struggling without household appliances, such as white goods, you may be eligible for help. Find out more. The Turn2us website includes a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for support from almost 2,000 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help people struggling to get by.