As the cost of living crisis deepens and with inflation and energy prices set to increase even further, the reality for many young women on low or no incomes is catastrophic. This is why, as part of the Keep the Lifeline coalition, we’re calling for a commitment from both prospective leaders to go further and make extra support packages available to low-income households.
In this blog, Claire Reindorp, Young Women’s Trust CEO, talks about why young women need more help with the cost of living crisis.
Our recent report, Just Getting By highlighted the bleak and worsening financial circumstances many young women are facing. The number who said they are now in debt ‘all of the time’ rose by 82% in the last 2 years. What’s more, 54% of young women told us that it’s a real struggle to make their cash last until the end of the month, up from 31% in 2020. For single mums, the situation is even worse, with 75% struggling, up from 53% in 2020.
With escalating monthly household costs, we’re extremely concerned that this will only make young women even more vulnerable. And we know young mums are already having to make impossible choices between feeding their children and heating their homes.
One of our young women spoke to the Big Issue recently and told them she questions buying essentials, including medical prescriptions, because of the rising energy bills. Another told Refinery 29 how she’s had to ration the use of a fan to keep cool in the heatwave that we’re experiencing. What will happen to women in a similar situation when the weather gets cold? Other young women have shared that they are skipping meals to pay their bills.
We need action now
Earlier this year, we welcomed the additional package of support announced by the Chancellor, but with energy prices forecasted to soar again in October, this is simply not enough. We want to see additional payments through the benefits system to plug the gap between the support already promised and the further cost of living increases.
We need action and we need it now. As part of the Keep the Lifeline coalition, we have signed a letter to the next leader of this country to pledge that they will make providing this financial support, to the people who need it the most, their top priority when they get into office.
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