Austerity moves ‘will not stop Christmas debt rise’

Many Britons will cut their household spending on Christmas this year, but this will not stop billions more being borrowed to pay for the festivities,…

Many Britons will cut their household spending on Christmas this year, but this will not stop billions more being borrowed to pay for the festivities, a survey has revealed.

Money.co.uk found 40 per cent of families say they will reduce their seasonal outlay in response to the government spending review, something that may for some be a necessary way of dealing with debt at a time when jobs and benefits could be cut.

For those reducing their outlay, the reduction will be 32 per cent and three per cent of households – nearly 300,000 – will play Scrooge and cancel Christmas altogether.

However, while this means the overall average household budget for Christmas will be £93 less than planned before the spending review at £624, the survey found there will still be an additional £1.9 billion of debt arising from this as people use borrowing to cover some costs, with the money coming from cards, loans and mortgage extensions.

One reason the proportion of the planned spending coming from savings stands at 14 per cent, compared with 15 per cent a year ago.

And the ghost of Christmas past is haunting some, with 8.3 per cent of households still paying off the money they borrowed for 2009’s festivities. Other research backs this up and has suggested that half of Britons will start the New Year in debt.

However, overspending may be a problem that is for life, not just for Christmas, with a recent Bright Grey survey showing the average Briton believes they need £1,706 per month to live on, which is 27 per cent more than the typical salary.

By Joe White

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