Counting The Costs

All eyes will be on Rishi Sunak today as he delivers his Budget, given the immense economic issues caused by Covid-19.

The chancellor has already said he “is preparing a Budget that provides support for people” as unemployment hovers at a five-year high and four million workers are on furlough.

According to a report last month, more than six million people became “accidental savers” during the pandemic by keeping jobs while facing fewer outgoings. Lower daily travel costs, fewer holidays and meals out contributed to this improved financial position, with the only headache being what to do with the new ‘cash cushion’, especially in the light of low interest rates.

But significantly this silver lining is not being experienced by everyone, with many still facing greater debts, redundancy and reduced income during furlough.

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlighted the scale of the financial squeeze, with more than nine million people having to borrow more than they usually would by December 2020, owing to the coronavirus crisis.

What we are seeing now, though, is a widening financial gap between households, where some people are relying on savings or borrowing to make ends meet. Those hardest hit are people on low pay, young people and parents of dependent children. ONS

So while commentators scrutinise the announcements due to come, why not take a closer look at your own household budget; count up the costs of making further savings or take stock that now could be the time to seek further support.

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