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Twice as poor as uk average

Disposable income flat year-on-year as energy prices start to bite

http://your.asda.com/press-centre/disposable-income-flat-year-on-year-as-energy-prices-start-to-bite

many other parts of the country continued to suffer a fall in spending power over the three months to December.

This was particularly the case for families in Northern Ireland, where the Income Tracker fell by 7.1% year-on-year to £77, reflecting a substantial increase in unemployment in the region.

Households in Northern Ireland had discretionary incomes of £77 a week in Q4, compared to a UK average of £146 for the quarter.

With the latest annual slip in discretionary incomes, the Income Tracker for households in Northern Ireland has fallen to 53 per cent of the UK average, down from 55 per cent in Q3 2012.

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Families face 75pc cut in mortgage borrowing limit

Parents penalised as mortgage lenders take the cost of bringing up children into account.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/9827253/Families-face-75pc-cut-in-mortgage-borrowing-limit.html

Families are being warned that they face a reduction in the amount they can borrow on a mortgage because of rising childcare costs.

In extreme examples, the size of home loans offered can be reduced by 80pc. As a result, many home owners will be prevented from switching to more competitive deals when interest rates rise or their current introductory offer ends.

The development comes as more than a million households face the loss or reduction of payments from child benefit, which took effect earlier this month.

Parents were also reminded that the cost of raising a child had reached a new high of £222,458, according to research from the insurer LV=, with childcare cited as one of the key reasons for the increase. Childcare costs, the report suggested, now averaged £63,738, compared with £39,613 a decade ago.

Apart from coping with this cost, it increasingly hampers families' ability to borrow. Following a review of the mortgage market by the City regulator, many lenders have tightened their affordability criteria.

This means that parents will now qualify for a smaller mortgage than couples without children. Depending on the lender, the reduction could be as high as 80pc, rendering many parents "mortgage prisoners" potentially left languishing on an expensive standard variable deal.

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Half of UK households burdened by debt during recession

Total debt, excluding mortgages, reached £94.7bn between 2008 and 2010, as economic downturn began to take its toll

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/jan/28/half-uk-household-burdened-debt

The average household owed £3,200 on credit cards, overdrafts or loans as the economic downturn gathered pace, and half of all households believed their debt was a burden, according to a wide-ranging study by the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS's Wealth and Assets survey looked at the change in household debt between 2006-08 and 2008-10, as the UK entered the grip of recession.

It showed that total debt outside of mortgages reached £94.7bn between 2008 and 2010, and that debt levels increased everywhere in the UK except London between 2006-08 and 2008-10.

Just over half of households had some form of financial debt, with the median amount being borrowed increasing by £400 to £3,200 between 2006-08 and 2008-10.

The ONS categorises household financial debt as credit and store cards that are not settled each month, overdrafts and all forms of fixed-term loans – but not mortgages.

It said the total debt burden for UK households rose by 10.3% between 2006-08 and 2008-10.

Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "It seems reasonable to suspect that household debt has risen further since 2008-10, with people's purchasing power being squeezed by extended weak income growth and elevated inflation."

A spokesman for the StepChange debt charity, said: "That there has been an increase in the number of people considering their debts a burden should come as little surprise. People have seen their incomes stagnate in recent years, while the cost of living has continued to rise, placing the finances of many households under unbearable strain.

The charity says Mondays are the most common day of the week to seek help, and January 30 2012 was its peak day. More than half of callers had priority debts such as outstanding fuel bills, as well as credit cards and loans; and 38% were in arrears with rent and mortgage payments.

The charity's chief executive, Matt Barlow, said: "Our phone lines will be very busy this month, as ever, and while some will have overspent during past Christmases, their stories reflect a toxic mixture of unexpected life events like job loss, relationship breakdown and illness over a long period of unenviable stress."

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The £2,000 cost of being British: Families face huge cost of living premium compared to other countries thanks to energy and transport costs

High property prices also to blame

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272747/The-2-000-cost-British-Families-face-huge-cost-living-premium-compared-countries-thanks-energy-transport-costs.html#axzz2JyOWEr2U

As well as high transport costs, British people also face paying 18per cent more for housing and utilities, such as water and fuel, 14per cent more on recreation and cultural activities, while restaurants and hotels are 12per cent more expensive.

However, the researchers calculated that if prices of housing, commercial property, energy and transport were brought down to average levels over the next decade, it would save every UK household more than £2,000 pounds a year.

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A familiar face?

Even middle class mums are having to think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rising prices mean many families are struggling to pay the weekly food bill

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/woman/life/rising-prices-mean-many-families-are-struggling-to-pay-the-weekly-food-bill-29056481.html

Rising prices and the recession mean we are all feeling the pinch, but a whopping 87% of Northern Ireland consumers are worried about the cost of food. Despite supermarket price wars, the cost of the weekly shop is now a huge concern.

Fears over how much we pay for food have now reached the stage where even middle class mums are having to think more about what they put in their trollies.

The latest findings from the Consumer Council of Northern Ireland Hard to Stomach report show that 82% of people here are making changes to how they shop, cook and eat in a bid to slash the weekly budget. A further 61% of people think supermarkets could do more to only charge a fair price, despite offers the big grocery chains tell us they have in store.

And it’s little wonder that people from all backgrounds are cutting corners as food shopping has gone up in price by £10-£30 more than this time last year, according to the Consumer Council.

“Our research has found that almost 9 in 10 consumers are worried about the cost of their food and groceries,” says Antoinette McKeown, chief executive of the Consumer Council. “It’s a concern that cuts across all ages, income brackets, cities, towns and villages.”

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Same weekly spend on food as London - highest in UK. Highest also for Alcohol, Narcotics, Clothing, Footwear and fags.

Households spend an average £53.40 a week on food, according to the Office for National Statistics' family spending survey for 2009 to 2011, published on Friday. The lowest weekly spend of £45.70 is in the North East while the highest weekly spend of £57.90 is in London and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland households spend the most per week on alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics, according to the ONS. The average weekly spend in the region is £16.50 compared to the lowest weekly spend of £10.10 in London.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9857192/ONS-family-spending-survey-how-households-spend-their-money.html

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Same weekly spend on food as London - highest in UK. Highest also for Alcohol, Narcotics, Clothing, Footwear and fags.

Households spend an average £53.40 a week on food, according to the Office for National Statistics' family spending survey for 2009 to 2011, published on Friday. The lowest weekly spend of £45.70 is in the North East while the highest weekly spend of £57.90 is in London and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland households spend the most per week on alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics, according to the ONS. The average weekly spend in the region is £16.50 compared to the lowest weekly spend of £10.10 in London.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9857192/ONS-family-spending-survey-how-households-spend-their-money.html

Narcotics? Now how exactly would you quantify weekly (weekly?) spend on illicit substance?

Alcohol - since we're also reputed to have Europe's highest proportion of teetotallers, that leaves some serious pix heads here.

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Cost of living: Family finances stretched to the limit

Budgets are crumbling after 5-year squeeze

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/personal-finance/cost-of-living-family-finances-stretched-1562332

The worst economic downturn for decades is hitting families hard. Household bills have shot up 40%, while incomes keep dropping and job losses, wage freezes and benefit cuts all take their toll.

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Pay rises 'outstripped by inflation'

Inflation has outstripped pay rises over the past three years, with the real value of wages last year falling back to 2003 levels, according to research.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/9867420/Pay-rises-outstripped-by-inflation.html

The statistics agency said there had been an annual average drop in real pay of almost 3pc between 2010 and 2012

Male workers in private firms have suffered the biggest decline in earnings since the recession in 2008, the ONS said. Their average earnings last year were worth less in real terms than in 2002, the research showed.

In the last three years inflation has eroded a decade of economic growth, and worse is to come

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/thomaspascoe/100022816/in-the-last-three-years-inflation-has-eroded-a-decade-of-economic-growth-and-worse-is-to-come/

It's rough out there. Three years of inflation outstripping wage growth has seen real wages fall back to 2003 levels, the ONS announced this morning. Over the long term, we are back to square one with men earning slightly less in real terms than in 2002, and women slightly more. The Bank of England increased its inflation forecasts for the year ahead this morning, predicting that CPI will rise to 3pc and not fall back to 2pc until 2016. The market is pricing in inflation of about 2.8pc per year over the next five years (crude measure in RPI based on gap between nominal and index linked gilts). Wages, as you probably know, aren't going anywhere fast, despite bullish predictions of a 4pc annual rise by 2015 in the OBR. The decline in living standards will last for years.

Annual spending power across the country is declining by £280 a year, 55pc of the "squeezed middle" have no savings, 69pc have no pension, a low to middle income household could have saved a deposit in three years in 1983, it would take 22 today thanks to our determination to prop up asset prices, despite 83pc of men and 75pc of women in that group working. There is a large and growing class of person in this country for whom this crisis is not a parlour game jumble of bond yields and pointless railways, but a one-way ticket to an economic life as indentured, miserable and joyless as any generation's since the Great War.

Britain and the British face some very hard times, and try as I might, I see on neither front bench any inkling of how bad things are, or will continue to be if we keep on down this road.

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Squeezed middle must wait another decade for rise in living standards

Resolution Foundation report says earnings for low to middle income families will not reach pre-recession levels until 2023

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/13/resolution-foundation-report-squeezed-middle

Britain's low to middle income families are unlikely to see their living standards return to pre-recession levels for at least another 10 years, the Resolution Foundation thinktank warns .

Its report, Squeezed Britain 2013, shows that if low to middle earnings rose by the 1.1% a year above inflation achieved in the past, average annual household incomes in this group would take until 2023 to reach £22,000 – the equivalent of where they stood in 2008.

The Foundation points out that this group's average earnings might now have reached £27,500 but for the downturn since 2008. To reach that level over the next decade would require annual real earnings growth of 3.3%.

The foundation says such an increase in earnings is unattainable based on current projections and past experience. It points out that the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government's forecaster, predicts average real earnings will continue to fall into 2014 at the same time as support from tax credits and benefits is due to decline.

The Resolution Foundation has long argued that the squeeze on the low to middle income group is not just a result of recent fiscal austerity but is a much longer-term and deeper-seated trend.

"The struggle with stagnant wages, high levels of debt and a heavy reliance on rising tax credits reaches back before the financial crisis and as such it represents a major challenge for all parties. The wages of ordinary full-time workers barely grew in the five years prior to the 2008 crash and were negative for the lowest earners, despite relatively healthy economic growth."

The report points to major long-term changes in the housing market. For the first time in recent history the majority of those on low to middle incomes under the age of 35 live in private rented property.

The report says under current circumstances it would take 22 years for a household on a low to middle income to save for an average deposit on a first-time home – in a climate of stagnant incomes and restricted mortgages.

The extent to which indebtedness is holding back households, and possibly a return to consumer demand is also underlined.

Among all households with debts in the bottom half of the income distribution, 30 per cent are "debt-loaded", that is, they spend more than a quarter of their total income on repayments – even at a time of ultra-low interest rates.

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Three more years of struggling: Bank governor issues grim warning to families

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/three-more-years-of-struggling-bank-governor-issues-grim-warning-to-families-8492913.html

Families were today warned that that the squeeze on their living standards will last for at least three more years.

The Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King said there was little sign of respite before 2016. Wages are stagnating while inflation is staying “stubbornly” high, fuelled by rising food, transport and utility bills.

New official figures show that the financial crisis has already sent living standards back to those last seen in 2003 - the first time on record that real wages have dropped so far.

The stark forecast is a blow to George Osborne as it means millions of families will be seeing their living standards continue to fall at the time of the 2015 election. The Chancellor was in Eastleigh today visiting a factory in the run-up to the by-election.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Official figures now confirm what everyone knows. Living standards have been falling for the vast majority, and there is no sign of change. But on top of the wage squeeze, the Government has been making it worse with cuts to tax credits, the freeze in child benefit and a VAT hike.

“Millions of low-income families —both in and out of work — are now threatened. The cost of living goes ever upwards with the costs of essentials such as food, fuel and energy continuing to increase.” A Labour spokesperson said: “The Government’s failing economic policies and unfair choices are making things worse not better.

“Our flatlining economy means wages and living standards are being squeezed.”

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UK retail sales fall unexpectedly in January

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21471637

The data for December, which had previously shown a 0.1% drop in monthly volumes, was also revised to show a steeper 0.3% decline

But this drop in High Street spending cannot all be blamed on the weather - there was also a sharper than expected fall in spending in the run up to Christmas.

Overall household spending has failed to increase over the last year. That has forced several high-profile store groups to close and many others to cut prices in an attempt to drum up business.

It all suggests that higher inflation and slow wage growth are squeezing household incomes and that is being felt in the UK's shops.

"If you define Christmas sales as the November to January period, this has been the second worst performance over the festive/sales period over the past 15 years," said George Buckley, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank, adding that 2009-10 was the worst.

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More pain at the pumps as motorists are hit by another 5p rise in petrol prices

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278978/More-pain-pumps-motorists-hit-5p-rise-petrol-prices.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The cost of petrol surged by 5p a litre in January – the third time in a year it has shot up by that much in a month.

It means that cost of filling up a family car has soared towards £100, according to the AA.

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Its odds on we'll all have to pony up

We must swallow price rises to ensure quality

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/james-quinn/9875319/We-must-swallow-price-rises-to-ensure-quality.html

If we want to know what it is we are eating, we, as consumers, are going to have to pay for it. Clearly there are structural issues to address. The current food chain is structured to deliver food at a range of price points to those with different incomes. As test results to date have shown, the majority of occurrences of horse meat or equine DNA traces in food has come in cheaper, value-type products.

Price rises will be required at all points of the chain if meat quality is to be secured, and this will have to be passed on to consumers to a certain degree. At a time when food inflation is running around the 3pc mark, and average real monthly incomes are falling, such increases will be hard to swallow.

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Number of young people learning to drive plunges as rising costs drive thousands off the roads

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-2279619/Number-young-people-learning-drive-plunges-rising-costs-drive-thousands-roads.html

But figures from the Department for Transport reveal the number of 17 to 19-year olds taking their practical driving tests has fallen by 18 per cent since 2007. Meanwhile the number of people in their 20s taking their tests has dropped by more than ten per cent.

The overall number of people taking their test is also falling, down by 5.3 per cent year-old-year in between July and September 2012 to 421,374. Recent figures put the cost of getting a teenage learner driver on the road at a colossal £5,000.

Driving lessons alone can now set teenagers or their parents back £1,500, while a new driver's car is around £1,200 on average, according to figures from Asda Money. Meanwhile car insurance costs for drivers aged between 17 and 22 have soared by more than 80 per cent since 2010, according to the AA. The average cost is more than £1,600 more than three times more than for someone aged 50-59.

Costs of getting on the road have soared at the same time young people have seen their budgets squeezed by the effects of the financial downturn. Even once young people have passed their test, the number with access to a car is falling, and those who do have cars are driving fewer miles each week, according to the Financial Times.

Youth unemployment has soared by 35 per cent to 916,000 between 2008 and 2011, far higher than the national average.

Business leaders have urged the Government to tackle youth unemployment amid fears Britain is creating a ‘lost generation’ of people who will never work.

A report by the Work Foundation revealed the number of jobless 15 to 24-year-olds in the UK has risen faster than any other G8 country since the start of the recession.

Edited by Shotoflight
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PDF well worth a look.

Big squeeze has turned into the long squeeze

Consumers struggling to pay for food and bills

Not saving for retirement - a ticking time bomb

http://www.which.co.uk/news/2013/02/ticking-time-bomb-for-cash-strapped-consumers-310501/

New Which? research paints a gloomy picture of consumers caught up in a long squeeze, that sees many unable to save, too worried to spend and unlikely to cope with financial shocks.Lack of consumer confidence has cost the economy £7.9 billion in lost spending in the last five years, Which? can reveal

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: 'Our research paints a gloomy picture of worried and pessimistic consumers, with a majority expecting their household budget to get even tighter than last year.

'People have as little money to spend now as they had at the start of the recession four years ago, with many simply unable to prepare for unexpected costs or for their retirement.

'There’s no doubt that the big squeeze has turned into a long squeeze. The assault on real incomes is unlikely to change for the better soon, with consequences not only for individual consumers but also for economic recovery.'

Our research shows how much consumers up and down the country are struggling to pay for essentials as:

almost 6 million households dipped into their savings to cover monthly household spending on items like food and utility bills

7 million cut spending on every day essentials like food, utility bills, housing costs and fuel

4 million households used credit to pay for food, with 44% of the population saying they are likely to cut spending on food in the next few months

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High cost of living in Northern Ireland

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/business-news/high-cost-of-living-in-northern-ireland-29077204.html

Northern Ireland's consumers have had to deal with a 19% jump in the price of goods since the start of the global economic crisis while those in the Republic have seen prices rise by only 2%.

Those are the findings of analysis carried out by Ulster Bank economist Richard Ramsey which showed that while harsh austerity measures have dented consumer confidence south of the border over the last five years, a big leap in inflation here has acted as the main drain on disposable income.

What's more, wages haven't kept pace, climbing only 10% since the peak of the housing market bubble in August 2007 compared to 18.8% for the UK consumer price index.

In effect that means most people have taken a pay cut of 8.8%.

Some categories of consumer goods have experienced bigger price rises than others.

Housing and household services, which includes utility bills, climbed 30% between August 2007 and January 2013, transport climbed 23%, alcohol and tobacco climbed 38%, food and drink climbed 34% and rate of prices increase for restaurants and hotels stood at 19%. Most of these prices rises can be explained by a rally in world markets for crude oil and commodities over the last few years, but despite those being a global issue, the UK has been impacted most.

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UK retail sales fall unexpectedly in January

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21471637

The data for December, which had previously shown a 0.1% drop in monthly volumes, was also revised to show a steeper 0.3% decline

But this drop in High Street spending cannot all be blamed on the weather - there was also a sharper than expected fall in spending in the run up to Christmas.

Overall household spending has failed to increase over the last year. That has forced several high-profile store groups to close and many others to cut prices in an attempt to drum up business.

It all suggests that higher inflation and slow wage growth are squeezing household incomes and that is being felt in the UK's shops.

"If you define Christmas sales as the November to January period, this has been the second worst performance over the festive/sales period over the past 15 years," said George Buckley, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank, adding that 2009-10 was the worst.

Larry Elliott suggests that this was mainly a surprise to blinkered morons.

http://m.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2013/feb/15/city-wrong-uk-retail-sales

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High cost of living in Northern Ireland

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/business-news/high-cost-of-living-in-northern-ireland-29077204.html

What's more, wages... climbing only 10% since the peak of the housing market bubble in August 2007

Interesting. Wages have increased 10% since the crash and houses have dropped 50% in that time.

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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