Britons ‘dreading budget’

Next week's Budget will bring bad news for consumers struggling with debt, according to a new survey.

The uSwitch poll found 66 per cent believ…

Next week's Budget will bring bad news for consumers struggling with debt, according to a new survey.

The uSwitch poll found 66 per cent believe they will be less confident about their financial prospects after chancellor George Osborne delivers his speech on March 21st, while only one-in-ten will feel more confident about the national economic picture and a mere four per cent expect to feel more upbeat about their own outlook.

Common concerns uncovered in the survey include the rising cost of living, which 76 per cent are troubled about, not least because only three out of ten expect a pay rise this year.

The research indicated 90 per cent of consumers want to see the scheduled 3p rise in fuel duty axed and 83 per cent believe the income tax threshold should be raised to £10,000 now.

At the same time, the survey also showed that many consumers are looking to take action by themselves to improve their situation instead of relying on solutions that may or may not be contained in the famous red box.

This includes 28 per cent paying off their debts and 12 per cent reorganising those they have, which could involve saving cash through wise debt consolidation measures.

Director of consumer policy at the site Ann Robinson said: "Far from creating a sense of hope and optimism, consumers are feeling less confident about their own financial situation and job security as well as the country's finances ahead of next week's Budget announcement.

"With many left wondering where the chancellor will wield his axe, it's good news that many households are already taking matters into their own hands by clearing their debts."

The best thing Mr Osborne can do next week is to take steps to bolster growth in the private sector to increase the supply of jobs, commented the Confederation of British Industry's director of employment policy Neil Carberry yesterday (March 14th), after the latest official figures showed a 28,000 increase in unemployment in the three months to January 2012.

By James Francis
 

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