Struggling families cut off from utilities being pushed further into debt, new report shows

‘Struggling families without electricity are cutting back on groceries, maxing credit cards, ­delaying medical appointments and even getting loans from pawnbrokers to get reconnected to the grid.’

‘A new report on electricity, gas and water disconnections has found utility companies who cut off skint households from essential services are pushing these Australians into even further debt and forcing them to make tough decisions about what to sacrifice at home in order to keep the lights, heating and taps running.’

‘The ‘Close to the Edge,’ report, released today by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s Energy + Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program, has found that in order to get reconnec­ted, 27 per cent of households cut back on buying food and groceries, 13 per cent delayed medical or dental appointments, 12 per cent used a credit card to get back on, and 12 per cent took out a loan through a pawn broker or money lender, further ­exacerbating their debts.’

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