UK affluence ‘on the decline’

A survey of Britons has revealed the majority believe living standards have declined since 2007, the year the credit crunch started.

The Scottish P…

A survey of Britons has revealed the majority believe living standards have declined since 2007, the year the credit crunch started.

The Scottish Provident poll found 30 million people thought the nation as a whole is worse off now than it was four years ago.

In contrast, only one-in-seven thought the average UK family’s standards of living had risen during this time.

Such findings may not be surprising in view of the fact that Britain has spent much of the period since 2007 in recession or with low growth, during which time unemployment has risen and many others have had to work part-time, on shorter hours and endure pay freezes.

And for some, debt will have been a problem, not least those who are trying to fund a good lifestyle but have found paying back the borrowing they have used to achieve this becoming harder as income has fallen in real terms.

The survey also revealed widespread pessimism about the future, with 36 per cent expecting to become worse off in the next three years, compared with 24 per cent anticipating better times ahead.

One detail of the poll was the list of possessions and lifestyle perks people thought they needed to have a good standard of living, which include home ownership, car ownership, overseas holidays and savings in the bank.

Some of these may have been funded on credit, however, which could add to the problems of many consumers now.

Among the people for whom the future may be bleakest are public sector workers, with budget cuts meaning many will lose their jobs.

One of the latest announcements saw Liverpool City Council saying it would shed 150 posts.

By Amy White

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