Millions are facing a “terrible” Christmas after two-thirds of adults worry they will not be able to afford a traditional festive dinner, according to a survey. The survey was commissioned by the Salvation Army, who initially calculated the cost to be £7.50 per head, however, due to rising food prices this has increased since the survey was carried out on October 22.
Those most concerned were people aged 65 and over – 81 percent – and residents of the east of England – 80 percent.
The Salvation Army found that 16 percent are planning to use food banks to source certain items for the meal, while 38 percent say they would skip meals if faced with an unexpected expense such as a broken boiler.
The Salvation Army’s Lieutenant Colonel Dean Pallant said: “Christmas should be the season of joy, not sorrow.
“If so many people are worried they can’t even afford one of the most important meals of the year, it’s a red flag that poverty is creeping further into our communities.”
In the poll, 14 percent of respondents said they could not afford to buy their child a Christmas present and 18 percent expect to go to a building that is free to visit just to keep warm.
Lt Colonel Pallant admitted that the Government’s autumn statement indicated they were trying to help but “its ability to stop the creep of poverty has been dangerously reduced due to rising inflation and the overall bleak economic outlook”.
He continued: “We expect this Christmas to be one of our busiest ever and are providing as many emergency food parcels as possible for those in urgent need and Christmas dinner for isolated older people.
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“I am going to treat it like a normal day and have sandwiches for lunch as I’m worried it will cost too much to buy the food and cook it.
“It is going to be a terrible Christmas for me.”
The Office for National Statistics found in October that nearly 50 percent of UK adults were struggling to pay their mortgage, rent or energy bills.