The government’s happiness index was designed to let everyone know how well the country’s doing - but the numbers are giving a different story.
The first three-month analysis is finally available for the last three month’s of 2011 - and as everyone guessed, the country’s doing worse than expected and everyone is a little poorer.
The grandly named Quarterly Household Release was published by the Office of National Statistics just a shade earlier than the latest inflation figures to give everyone two reasons not to celebrate.
In broad figures, inflation, according to the consumer prices index increased 0.1% to 3.5% last month after falling the month before.
The latest household income figures, for the final three months of 2011, showed income per head fell 0.1%, which was slightly less of a fall than for the previous quarter.
Inflation contributed to spending rising 0.2% per head, while savings fell by the same amount.
The important point to remember about percentage rises and falls, is when the government announces an inflation-linked increase in benefits - like the recent 5% plus extra pension payment - that the amount is really just bringing income back to the same place as it was a year ago and is not an increase in real terms.
Inflation running at 3.5% means income has to rise by that amount just to keep pace with the increasing cost of living and gives no one any extra spending money.
These figures really do affect the pound in someone’s pocket or purse.
Someone with a take home income of £1,000 a month a year ago needs £1,035 to maintain the same standard of living this year. If wages have not gone up, then expenses have had to go down - if they have not, somewhere along the line there’s a pinch point where the finances are feeling the strain.
This could be a missed card or loan payment or perhaps mortgage or rent arrears.
While inflation is still rising, the likelihood of making that payment back without cutting spending is unlikely.
This is how debt creeps up on borrowers - just a few pounds here and there that builds in to big amounts over a few months.
Dealing with debt involves taking responsibility for the problem and exploring the solutions. That’s where a professional adviser can help by tailoring a financial plan to match a borrower’s personal finances.
--- ENDS ---
Notes to editors:
- Money Debt and Credit is one of the UK's fastest growing financial solution companies.
- The company was founded in 2006 on the belief that every client has the right to appropriate financial advice. Since then we've gone from strength to strength and have helped thousands of people with a variety of financial solutions.
- We offer a range of services including Financial Management Plans, IVA s, Loans, Mortgages, Full & Final Settlements, Bankruptcy, Investments and Pensions.
- Specialties: IVA s, Financial Management Plans, Loans, Mortgages, Trust Deeds, Full and Final Settlements, Bankruptcy
For more information or debt advice contact:
Money Debt and Credit
45 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1SZ
Tel. 0800 16 999 46
Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net