Parents’ fear for bleak financial future

5th December 2011

A poll for Ipsos Mori in the Observer this weekend suggests that 64 per cent of Britons believe their children will be worse off.

This compares starkly with a survey during 2003, now regarded as a boom year, when as the Observer notes the optimists outnumbered the pessimists by nearly one in four.

The Observer also suggests that the UK is even more pessimistic than the US though there are still more pessimists than optimists in what has been a traditionally optimistic country. There, a recent poll conducted by Gallop found that 55 per cent of Americans believe their children will be less well off as opposed to 33 per cent who believe they will be better off than they themselves.

The poll may not be too surprising giving last week's coverage of the Institute for Fiscal Studies report on Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn statement. The Liverpool Daily Echo focused on 13 years of stagnation reporting that the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) painted a bleak picture for the average household, concluding that median incomes would be no higher in 2015-16 than they were in 2002-3.

The paper adds: The IFS report also warned that average household incomes were set to drop by a punishing 7.4% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2012-13, as part of changes it described as "extraordinary".

There is little good news in Scotland either. Here the Scotman reports on the Ernst & Young Item club predicting a difficult decade.

The paper writes: "Any hopes of a fast rebound from the downturn are a "pipe dream", the report will say, as export performance lags and Scottish firms remain heavily reliant on the embattled eurozone for overseas sales."

And it quotes Dougie Adams, senior economic adviser to the Item Club, saying the Scottish economy will have expanded by only 0.6 per cent this year.  The report also sees a heavy downgrade in growth expectations for 2012, from 1.9 per cent to 1.1 per cent. This compares with an expectation of 1.5 per cent growth for the UK as a whole.

The Guardian, this weekend, considered many aspects of British life in 2017 and painted an extraordinarily bleak picture for the economy and society with massive social division with a blighted north and London dividing into a mostly rich centre and poor suburbs.

Meanwhile the shops are hoping against hope to attract consumers with special offers. The sales are starting early as consumers delay their spending as the Observer reports.

But retail analysts are also glum suggesting that this Christmas looks the worst since the Lehman's collapse.

It quotes Richard Hyman, retail analyst at Deloitte saying: "This is the toughest it's been since Lehmans. Lehmans was about sentiment; this is about real household economics."


More from Mindful Money:

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer

Experiential retail: The UK high street revolution

Pensions hit by move from RPI to CPI

Which? and Savings Champion launch consumer advice services

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