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Two million households living without essential appliances

Over two million households (4.8 million people) are living without essential household appliances such as fridges, freezers, cookers and washing machines, according to a new report.

The charity Turn2Us has launched its #LivingWithout campaign report, which outlines the scale of appliance poverty across the UK.

It also highlights the dire financial, physical and emotional consequences experienced by people living without these basic essentials; especially families and individuals affected by more complex physical and mental needs.

The analysis highlights the true scale of appliance poverty in the UK, with at least:

  • 1.9 million people living without a cooker (1 in 20 earning under £35,000 a year)
  • 2.8 million people living without a freezer (1 in 10)
  • 900,000 people living without a fridge (1 in 30)
  • 1.9 million people living without a washing machine (1 in 20).

Turn2us says that changes to welfare policy since 2010 have contributed ‘significantly’ to the increase in appliance poverty.

They also point to the abolition of the Social Fund in 2013, which previously provided support for those living without essential household appliances and has specifically been identified as the single biggest erosion of help.

Of the 100 grant giving charities Turn2us spoke to as part of this campaign, over 70% identified the abolition of this crisis fund as a turning point. As a result of this, Turn2us is campaigning to develop a new system of Local Welfare Assistance Schemes to adequately replace the Social Fund.

Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive at Turn2us, said: ‘Household appliances are not luxuries: they are essentials. Everyone deserves the simple right to store their own food, cook their own dinner and wash their own clothes.

‘People who currently live without white goods face huge economic, physical and emotional penalties. We all want to live in a society where these social injustices are no longer tolerated.’

Find out more about the campaign here.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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