One in five low earners worried about rising food costs
New Equifax research, released ahead of the Spring Budget, identifies pressures on disposable income
Ahead of the Spring Budget, Equifax, the credit information provider, commissioned YouGov* to find out what people are most concerned will impact their disposable income in the next 12 months.
An increase in utility bills topped the list of worries, at 31%, followed by the cost of day-to-day food bills, at 24%. Just over 1 in 10 think that an increase in their mortgage or rent payments will occur in the next 12 months.
With the Government’s focus on JAMs (just about managing), the Equifax research looked at the concerns for the lowest earners (earning between £10,000 and £14,999 per annum). Rising utility bills are even more of a worry for this group, at 49%. However the cost of day-to-day food bills is a worry for 20% of this group, which is just slightly lower than the national average.
Looking at the regional picture, Scots are the most concerned about rising utility bills at 37%, whilst the impact of utility costs on disposable income is only a worry for a quarter of Londoners. However those living in the South of the country were the most concerned about day-to-day food bills, at 29%, compared to 21% of Londoners and 22% of those living in the North.
And with disposable income under pressure, the research also looked at plans for savings in the next year. Asked if they will save more or less in the next 12 months, compared to the last 12 months, just over one in five (21%) said they think they will save less. However, 40% said they think they will save the same amount in the coming year. Only 12% thought they would save more.
“The Chancellor of the Exchequer has indicated** that the Spring Budget will be low-key rather than having any major changes”, said Lisa Hardstaff, consumer credit information expert at Equifax. “But, even so, those facing the hardest job of juggling income and outgoings will be hoping for some help.
“Anybody who has concerns about their finances can gain some understanding of their financial situation by obtaining a copy of their credit report to view their current commitments. This way, they can prioritise payments and close any old and unused accounts. Ensuring that your credit history is in shape could help you to get better rates on loans and potentially save money.
**Survey of 2,050 consumers by YouGov, February 2017
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Equifax, Inc. ("Equifax") powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyses data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers.
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