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Third of UK adults see loved ones less due to cost-of-living crisis

Third of UK adults see loved ones less due to cost-of-living crisis
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

An estimated 16 million UK adults have seen their friends and family less due to the cost-of-living crisis, a consumer champion finds.

Rising rent, high energy bills and food inflation has caused a third of the nation to miss out on time with their loved ones, leaving many feeling isolated according to Which?

The consumer champion has warned of the negative impact it is having on the nation’s mental wellbeing too, as almost half (48%) of the 4,000 respondents surveyed said they spent more time at home due to the ongoing crisis.

Younger people feel the strain

Four out of 10 said they became more distant from their friends, while a quarter (25%) of those in a relationship felt ‘significant strain’ with their partner.

This was most prevalent with younger adults, who were three times (37%) as likely to experience those stresses compared to couples aged over 55 (12%).

Further, those aged between 18 and 34 were also twice as more likely to feel isolated from their friends, with 50% of respondents in that demographic saying they felt that way.

Meanwhile, almost half (48%) of parents with children at home felt distant from family and friends, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of those with adult children who’ve moved out.

One man earning between £20,000 and £34,999 a year told the consumer champion that he “no longer has a life.” He continued: “It’s miserable, depressing and I’m isolated from my friends as I can no longer afford to go out with them.”

With over two million struggling to afford essential payments, Which? has called on big companies to do more to help families.

The consumer champion has asked supermarkets to make budget line items widely available in convenience stores, and for energy firms to ensure their customer service teams are fully staffed – so struggling households are well supported.

Businesses in essential sectors urged to help customers

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “It’s hugely concerning that millions of people have been isolated from their loved ones during the cost of living crisis – putting their mental and emotional wellbeing at risk.

“The Government and businesses must do everything in their power to support those struggling to make ends meet and protect them from further financial and emotional harm.

“With colder weather fast-approaching, Which? is calling on businesses in essential sectors, like food, energy and telecoms, to do more to help customers get a good deal and avoid unnecessary or unfair costs and charges.”