21st March 2014
Despite the UK’s economic rebound since the nadir of the financial crisis with 1.9% GDP growth notched up 2013, its best since 2007, millions feel worse off now than they did in 2010 writes Philip Scott.
According to a survey from price comparison site Uswitch three quarters, at 74%, of consumers say they are not feeling the benefit in their own financial situation, despite the Chancellor George Osborne’s optimism that the economy will grow by 2.7% this year.
The Chancellor may have announced the biggest overhaul to pensions and ISAs for a generation in his Budget speech this week but 66% still do not think that he understands the financial fears of ordinary people, while 62% do not trust the Government to make the best decisions for their financial future.
Jafar Hassan, personal finance expert at Uswitch says: “The Budget may have gone some way to appease pensioners and savers but ultimately it didn’t go far enough to address the rising cost of living.”
The research found that 41% of Britons now feel more concerned about their finances following the Budget.
More than half of respondents, at 54%, say they have seen a fall in their general standard of living over the last 12 months, with the vast majority at 83%, witnessing an increase in essential household bills.
In a bid to cope with the price rise 53% of respondents admitted they are reducing the amount they spend on food, while 63% have cut down on heating and hot water while 23% have even cut back on essential healthcare, such as dentist appointments and prescriptions.
Two in three households say they would need an additional £220 a month to ease the pressure on their finances and help them stay afloat.
Hassan adds: “Soaring household bills coupled with inadequate pay rises has left a burning hole in our pockets. Consumers have been left hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.
“The reality is that in the last year, the cost of living has soared to such a level that, coupled with poor salary increases, families are being forced to jeopardise their health and wellbeing just to make ends meet.”