Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The December 2013 edition of Aviva’s Family Finances report makes sober reading.

The December 2013 edition of Aviva’s Family Finances report makes sober reading. Particularly worth noting is the fact that the gap between the highest and lowest earning families grew by 14% in the last three years, and at the same time less and less families have any savings to fall back.

Particularly hard hit have been divorced, separated or widowed parents who have seen their monthly incomes fall by 14% over the three year period to £1,189.


We are all aware of how the cost of living crisis is affecting household incomes, however what is perhaps less often talked about is the flipside of this – the fact that less savings means that families have less to fall back on should they face an unexpected cost or other change of circumstance.

December 2013 saw 30% of UK families having less than £500 in savings, compared to 14% in January 2013. The percentage with less than £2,000 to fall back on has also jumped from 28% to 40% between January and December.

This is a cause for concern, especially for me as the representative of the constituency which last year made headlines because we have the highest number of people living on the precipice of official poverty. At one point, 30% of the population were one unexpectedly high bill away from being in official poverty. The cost of living has been an issue in areas like Haslingden and Hyndburn for a very long time, and it is concerning that the national picture is getting worse not better.