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Seventy per cent of people in Wales worry about rising living costs

Citizens Advice

Rising living costs are leaving thousands of Welsh families struggling to cope financially, with many cutting back on food and heating to try to make ends meet, according to new research published today.

The news figures were published today by Citizens Advice Cymru and Shelter Cymru at the National Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire.

The research reveals that seventy per cent of Welsh adults are worried about the rising cost of living and more than half are struggling to keep up with bills and credit commitments.

The price of food, petrol and energy are particular concerns; nearly half of those questioned (48 per cent) said that they were consciously cutting back on their use of gas and electricity, 37 per cent are spending less on groceries and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) are reducing their car use.

Meanwhile more than half of those who pay rent or a mortgage struggle with their payments, with 18 per cent struggling constantly. This figure has risen over the last year - a similar survey in July 2013 showed that 12 per cent struggled constantly with paying their rent or mortgage.

Worryingly, thousands of households appear to have no financial safety net, with 25 per cent of those currently in employment saying that they would not be able to pay their rent or mortgage at all if they lost their job.

In last year’s survey, this figure was 18 per cent and the charities suggest that the increase could be a result of people no longer being able to put aside money for emergencies.

Fran Targett, Director, Citizens Advice Cymru, said:

“Every day, our bureaux in Wales are seeing increasing numbers of people who are struggling to maintain a decent standard of living in the face of welfare changes and rising living costs.

“Many families are frequently having to go without basics, such as food, adequate heating and clothes in order to keep up with rent payments and meet essential households bills.”

“Citizens Advice and Shelter Cymru have demonstrated time and again the value of free independent advice, both in supporting people in difficulties and in reducing pressures on local services. This research shows that we have never been more needed.”

John Puzey, Director, Shelter Cymru, said:

“We are still clearly a very long way from an economic recovery in Wales. Not only are thousands of families struggling to cope financially, but our research shows that the number of people finding themselves in serious difficulties is increasing year on year.

“Cutting back on food and heating in order to meet the rent or mortgage can only ever be a short-term measure. A severe winter or an increase in interest rates could be all it takes for families to hit crisis point and potentially lose their home.

"Besides the devastating impact that this has on the health and well-being of individuals concerned, especially children, dealing with the outcomes of homelessness has significant financial impacts on local services, which themselves are experiencing severe funding cuts.”

Saith deg y cant o bobl Cymru’n poeni am y cynnydd mewn costau byw

Mae’r cynnydd mewn costau byw yn golygu bod miloedd o deuluoedd yng Nghymru yn ei chael hi’n anodd ymdopi’n ariannol, gyda llawer yn gwario llai ar fwyd a gwres i geisio cael dau ben llinyn ynghyd, yn ôl ymchwil newydd a gyhoeddir heddiw.

Cafodd y ffigurau ysgytwol hyn, sy’n deillio o waith Cyngor ar Bopeth Cymru a Shelter Cymru, Llanelli yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn Sir Gâr.

Mae’r ymchwil yn dangos bod saith deg y cant o oedolion Cymru yn poeni am y cynnydd mewn costau byw a mwy na’u hanner (59%) yn ei chael hi’n anodd talu biliau a dyledion.

Pris bwyd, petrol ac ynni yw’r testun pryder mwyaf; dywedodd bron hanner y bobl a holwyd (48 y cant) eu bod yn mynd ati’n fwriadol i ddefnyddio llai o nwy a thrydan yn sgil yr hinsawdd economaidd presennol, mae 37 y cant yn gwario llai ar fwyd ac mae bron chwarter (23 y cant) yn defnyddio llai ar eu car.

Yn y cyfamser, mae dros hanner (55%) y bobl sy’n talu rhent neu forgais yn cael trafferth gyda’u taliadau, gyda 18 y cant yn cael trafferth eu talu’n gyson. Mae’r ffigur hwn wedi codi dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf - yn ôl arolwg tebyg ym mis Gorffennaf 2013, roedd 12 y cant yn cael trafferth gyson i dalu eu rhent neu eu morgais.

Mae’n destun pryder nad oes gan filoedd o aelwydydd unrhyw arian wrth gefn, gyda 25 y cant o’r rhai sydd mewn gwaith yn dweud na fydden nhw’n gallu talu eu rhent neu eu morgais o gwbl pe baen nhw’n colli eu swydd.

Yn arolwg y llynedd, roedd y ffigur hwn yn 17 y cant ac mae’r elusennau’n awgrymu efallai fod y ffigur hwn wedi cynyddu oherwydd nad yw pobl yn gallu rhoi arian o’r neilltu ar gyfer argyfyngau mwyach.

Meddai Fran Targett, Cyfarwyddwr Cyngor ar Bopeth Cymru:

“Bob dydd mae ein canolfannau yng Nghymru yn gweld mwy a mwy o bobl sy’n ei chael hi’n anodd cynnal safon dderbyniol o fyw oherwydd newidiadau lles a chostau byw cynyddol.

“Mae llawer o deuluoedd yn gorfod gwneud heb bethau hanfodol, fel bwyd, gwres a dillad, er mwyn gallu talu’r rhent a biliau hanfodol.”

“Mae Cyngor ar Bopeth a Shelter Cymru wedi dangos dro ar ôl tro werth cyngor annibynnol am ddim, a hynny o ran cynorthwyo pobl sydd mewn trafferthion ac o ran lleihau’r pwysau ar wasanaethau lleol. Mae’r gwaith ymchwil hwn yn dangos bod ein hangen ni nawr fwy nag erioed.”

Meddai John Puzey, Cyfarwyddwr Shelter Cymru:

“Mae’n amlwg mai breuddwyd gwrach yw’r adferiad economaidd yng Nghymru. Nid yn unig y mae miloedd o deuluoedd yn ei chael hi’n anodd ymdopi’n ariannol, ond mae ein gwaith ymchwil yn dangos bod nifer y bobl sy’n mynd i drafferthion difrifol yn cynyddu flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn.

“Nid yw pobl yn gallu gwario llai ar fwyd a gwres er mwyn talu’r rhent neu’r morgais am byth. Dim ond gaeaf caled neu gynnydd mewn cyfraddau llog sydd ei angen er mwyn i’r hwch fynd drwy’r siop a bod teuluoedd yn wynebu colli eu cartrefi.

“Ar wahân i’r effaith andwyol y mae hyn yn ei chael ar iechyd a lles y bobl dan sylw, yn enwedig plant, mae delio â chanlyniadau digartrefedd yn cael effaith ariannol sylweddol ar wasanaethau lleol, sy’n wynebu toriadau ariannol llym eu hunain.”

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