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Consumer Council event addresses the Price of Being Poor

The stark reality that poorer people pay more for everyday essentials will be
highlighted today at a Consumer Council led event. Around 50 organisations from
the private and public sectors will meet at Clifton House – the Poor House - to
agree key actions and changes that will make a difference to the everyday lives of
people on low incomes.
This event aims to illustrate how people who are less well off tend to pay more for
some necessities and are often unable to access the best deal.

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: "Many more people are struggling this year and are worried about the economy. But for some consumers life is incredibly tough and the price of being poor means paying more for everyday essentials. It is vital that the NI budget takes account of this harsh
reality and that all stakeholders including government, business, community and voluntary sectors work together to ensure consumers receive a fair deal, especially for the most vulnerable in our society."
This event will shape a Consumer Council report - The Price of Being Poor - to be published early next year. Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: "This report will set the direction for Government, businesses and organisations to deliver better impacts for people struggling on low-incomes. This
event brings together key people to show leadership, commitment, support and practical solutions for disadvantaged citizens."

Notes to Editors:Research shows that consumers in Northern Ireland have lower levels of financial capability than the rest of the UK:
- almost a third of people here believe that they are only one month away from hardship should anything unexpected happen
- half have no insurance for loss of income or property
- more than a quarter don't get any independent information or help before choosing a financial service, like a mortgage

Researchii conducted by the Consumer Council
- Only four in ten are keeping up with bills and credit without difficulty.
- Over half (52 per cent) of consumers are worried about being able to make ends meet now.
- Over two-thirds (64 per cent) of consumers are worried about being able to make ends meet in the future.
- The emergence of a new group of vulnerable consumers, aged 25-34, who are having most problems keeping up with their finances.

ENDS

1.  Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or e-mail ioverend@consumercouncil.org.uk

2.  The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.

3.  For more information, visit our website at www.consumercouncil.org.uk