UK: Fears rise as cost of living soars four times faster than earnings

Photo: The Telegraph

Household bills have risen four times faster than average earnings since the credit crisis began, according to the Office for National Statistics(ONS), leaving many families fearing worse to come from Budget 2013.

No wonder nearly three quarters of those questioned by comparison website said they feel poorer since the Coalition Government came to power. Worse still, 85pc of respondents claim Chancellor George Osborne “does not understand the real fears of ordinary people”.

Personal finance rather than political theory seems to be driving disenchantment. Household bills have risen by an average of 25pc over the last five years, while national average earnings edged up by only 6pc, according to the ONS.
These official figures show average earnings increased from £24,900 a year in 2008 to £26,500 at the end of 2012.

But the cost of living increased four times faster, causing the purchasing power or real value of wages to fall back to 2003 levels.  Nearly half of the 1,000 people questioned had received no pay rise at all this year and more than one in three have had their pay frozen for 12 months or more. One in eight – or 13pc – have had their pay cut.

Amid the bleak mid-winter of austerity Britain, perhaps it is no surprise that 55pc of those questioned expect next week’s Budget to make things worse. Nearly six in 10 said the Chancellor must make cutting household bills a priority, while 50pc identified petrol prices and one in three said he must “sort out the benefits system”.


The Telegraph has the full article

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