Report reveals reality of destitution for Brits struggling to make ends meet

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The debt charity, Christians Against Poverty, says a third of its clients have experienced destitution at some point, with many struggling to afford the most basic of necessities like housing and even toiletries.

In its new report, Left Destitute by Debt, the charity said that 32% of its clients had experienced destitution, which it classed as going without two or more essentials on a regular basis, including shelter, food, lighting, heating, clothing and basic toiletries.

Over a third (37%) of those said they had gone without lighting at least once in the week to save money, while nearly two thirds of destitute households (61%) said they lacked suitable clothing for the weather.

A third (34%) could not afford basic toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, sanitary products and toilet paper.

The report revealed the emotional toll of destitution, with nearly all (95%) saying they had felt lonely or socially isolated as a result of their circumstances.

Over a quarter (27%) of households experiencing destitution had also gone without at least one essential household appliance, like a bed, mattress, washing machine or cooker.

CAP said the findings revealed a "blind spot" in the Government's response to poverty. It said the Government needed to "take moral responsibility" to ensure that everyone has a decent standard of living.

CAP CEO Matt Barlow said: "We feel the Government have a poverty blind spot currently with other issues like Brexit seemingly taking precedence.

"More has to be done to protect the most vulnerable in this country and we need to look again at UK poverty and prioritise solutions to ensure no one is left destitute."