Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Britain has 'less spending money than ever'

Britons have less spending money in their pockets than at any point over the past ten years, a report has found. Pay has increased over the past decade, but more of it is being swallowed up by rent, utility bills and taxes, according to the study. A tax increase of 85% and a 77% rise in social contributions have pushed down take-home pay, according to price comparison website uSwitch.com. The site claims the proportion of money left to spend on non-essential items is lower than any time since 1997.

The website’s personal finance expert, Mike Naylor, said: “Our pay cheques may be getting fatter, but the chunk that we have to hand over to pay taxes, bills and other living costs is growing even faster. “We are working harder, but we are not getting any wealthier - we are just running to stand still.”

The cost of water, heating and rent bills have risen on average by 33%, 46% and 44% respectively over the past decade, uSwitch said. Housing costs continue to take the biggest chunk of household income following a 231% average increase in house prices and a 44% average increase in rent costs over the past decade.

An increase in the number of households living below 60% of the average household income is another factor behind the cash squeeze, according to uSwitch. The household expenditure statistics used in the report are based on figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Disposable income is defined as gross income minus taxes and essential living costs such as utilities bills, food, transport, education, clothing, communication, TV licence fees, insurance, mortgage and rent.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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