Household bills going unpaid as the crunch starts to hurt

The amount of electricity bills that have gone unpaid in the past six months has jumped from 1.31 million to 1.96 million and approximately 1.61 million Brits missed a gas bill compared to 1.16 million in the final six months of 2007.

And MoneyExpert says energy bills are just one of a number of household bills that are increasingly going unpaid as hard pressed consumers struggle to keep pace with the rising cost of living and the threat of recession.

Some 5.37 million people have missed a household bill of some sort in the past six months including everything from gas and electricity to council tax, fixed and mobile phones and private or council rent.