2.5 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS STRUGGLING WITH FINANCES ACCORDING TO LATEST LEGAL & GENERAL MONEYMOOD SURVEY.
23 November 2012
Research from the Legal & General MoneyMood Survey shows household finances across the country are in the same position as a year ago. The number of homes who say they are “struggling” (i.e. income not enough to pay bills) appears to have stabilized at 2.5 million. However, this is 300,000 higher than in 2010, before the double dip recession.
Fewer households doing well compared to two years ago…
Fewer homes say they have “money left over after paying bills and debts”, compared to figures from two years ago. From 2010 to 2012 the number of “stable” households, those who say they have some money left after paying bills each month, fell from 50% to 44% - around 1.3 million homes.
To see the charts for MoneyMood Expense cover September 2010 and 2011 versus October 2012 please click on the link on the right of this page.
40% either in fuel poverty or close to it…
As we enter the winter months the cost of gas and electricity are likely to become a significant contributor to household bills. This month the Money Mood survey began monitoring how many households say they are in fuel poverty (the Government says that households who spend more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity are classified as in “fuel poverty” – do you think you are in fuel poverty now?).
Our latest survey shows 2 out of 5 households across the country say they are either already in fuel poverty or almost in fuel poverty. This suggests that a relatively small change in the cost of fuel could tip many more homes into fuel poverty over coming months.
Wales (31%), London (29%), West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside have the largest number of households who say they are in fuel poverty now.
The South West and East Midlands the biggest number of households who say they are “almost” in fuel poverty at 25%.
We will be monitoring this through the winter to see whether the fuel poverty situation changes.
To see the regional chart for MoneyMood Fuel Poverty results, October 2012 please click on the link on the right of this page.
Commenting on these findings Mark Gregory, Legal & General Chief Executive Officer Savings said; “While household finances have clearly not yet fully recovered to pre-recession strength, the signs of stability in the UK economy over the last year appear to be reflected in our MoneyMood survey.
Not withstanding the harsh reality that just over 300,000 more households are struggling to make ends meet compared with the figured from just before the recession took hold, our latest research shows no increase in the number of homes struggling to stay out of debt compared to a year ago.
However, higher inflation figures for October will not be welcome news and we believe the cost of fuel is likely to make balancing household finance even harder for those with lower incomes.
With one in 5 (21%) already saying they are in fuel poverty (based on the Govt. definition) and a further fifth (19%) “almost” in fuel poverty any rise in the amount spent on fuel is likely to have a significant impact on how the less well off households cope with paying bills.
The MoneyMood survey indicates that London, Wales, the East Midlands and the North West appear to have more homes who say they’re either already in fuel poverty, or almost in fuel poverty compared to the national average.
REGIONAL DATA - SUMMARY
There appears to be a North/South divide with the number of homes who say they’re struggling with household finances coming down in the Midlands and up to the North East of England. However, in the South of England and Wales the number of struggling households has risen significantly since the start of the recession.
In Scotland there has also been a slight increase in the numbers who say they’re struggling over the last 2 years.
Notes to editors
SURVEY – METHODOLOGY
TNS Omnibus carried out research for the Legal & General MoneyMood Survey.
Telephone interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample (in GB) of around 1,000 adults (age 18+) between 26-28 October 2012, 23-25 September 2011 and 24-26 September 2010.
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.
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The MoneyMood Survey is registered by Legal & General plc.
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