Asda: 40% of UK households earn less than the cost of essential bills

Over 11 million UK households had negative discretionary income last month, with take home pay unable to cover the cost of their bills, according to Asda’s latest Income Tracker.

Although wages are up almost 3% compared with the same time last year, low income housholds were left with £71 a week last month after paying essentials such as food, accomodation, energy and clothing.

Discretionary income for these housholds has fallen by over 66% since last February as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

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Those in the second lowest quintile also did not have enough money to cover essential bills, with discretionary income having dropped by 112.5%.

The Big 4 grocer said that as low income households spend a disproportionately larger share of their income on essentials, increasing inflation and the removal of the Energy Bills Support Scheme could see discretionary income further impacted in coming months.

While the highest quintile also saw a slight reduction in discretionary income by 2.5%, on average disposable income dropped to £207 a week, a year on year reduction of 12.2%.

In a bid to help shoppers tackle the effects of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Asda recently extended its ‘Kids Eat for £1’ café meal deal to include the Easter holiday period.

The scheme, which was first launched in June 2022, has now served more than 1.3m meals nationwide.



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