The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that 37 per cent of people do not have enough money to meet an unexpected but necessary financial expense – a huge leap from the pre recession 2007 figure of 27 per cent.
At the same time, the number saying they cannot afford a holiday has soared from 21 per cent to 30 per cent over the same period.
Since 2000 average pay has increased by 40 per cent while the official inflation figure over the same period (which many think underestimates price rises for people on lower incomes) has been 43 per cent, representing a real pay cut.
The really big hit has been in the past five or six years. Since 2007, prices have risen by 18 per cent but average wages by just 10 per cent. Taking all factors into account, including unemployment, national income per head has fallen by more than 13 per cent since the start of 2008. ■