Recent worldwide inclement weather conditions may indirectly force UK citizens and residents to borrow beyond their means and fall further into debt as they fail to make ends meet.
In the midst of a double-dip recession, Britons must now brace themselves for spiraling food costs following the second wettest summer on record in the UK, the worst drought in half a century in North and South America topped off by heat waves and more droughts in Eastern Europe and India. The National Farmers' Union (NFU) reported that wheat yields in England have reduced by 14% as productivity levels barely equal output in the 1980s.
Mr. Gagen, of the NFU, has alluded to the fact that not only can residents of the UK expect price rises in fruit, vegetable and grain, but it will also directly impact the prices of other food sectors like poultry and other meats, especially pork. The British Retail Consortium has also confirmed that fruit, vegetable and grain prices have been raised.
This sudden increase in household costs will likely leave many families and individuals in deficit unless they seek means of increasing their budgets. According to Geoffrey Lean, pioneering environmentalist and Telegraph reporter of 40 years, "As this year's grain harvest dips beneath annual consumption, it is threatening to drive up both prices and hunger alike."
The Trussell Trust is a food bank network that has fed a total of 128,697 people in the whole of 2011-12. Compare those numbers with the fact that since April, they have already had to feed 110,000 and predict that they will be reaching 200,000 before the end of the year. Adrian Curtis, the Trussell Trust network director, points out that the significant increase in numbers between last year and this year are partially due to the spike in food and utility bills in the UK. He told the BBC that the people they are helping are "not necessarily people who are welfare dependent. They are working families but can't afford to buy their way out of hard times."
A spokesperson for PaydayLoan.co.uk, a leading online payday loans broker, talks about their fears in regards to the deteriorating financial predicament of the UK family and its impact on borrowing habits:
While certain companies may choose to practice irresponsible lending and tarnish the industry, what people don't understand is that irresponsible borrowing is an even bigger problem at the moment, and this combined with the rising cost of living, will only further encourage consumers to borrow beyond their means. Payday loans are an excellent way to help cover emergency costs and we advise consumers to remember that these loans are only temporary solutions and should not be used on a regular basis for basic necessities such as food."