Ten million households are feeling the squeeze

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, new Which? research finds more than 10 million households are feeling the squeeze.

The Which? Squeezometer, a new tracker launched today based on the monthly Which? Consumer Insight poll, shows that more than a third of the population (39%) are feeling the financial squeeze, amounting to 10.2 million households. This includes 2.3 million households that have defaulted on a loan, bill or housing payment, and 1.5 million households that have taken out one or more unauthorised overdrafts or payday loans just to make ends meet.

The latest Which? Consumer Insight Tracker has also found:

  • A third (32%) of people are finding it difficult to cope on their current level of income.
  • Consumers’ top financial worries are the price of fuel (85%), energy (85%) and food (78%).
  • Two thirds of people are worried about interest rates on their savings (68%) and the value of their pensions (68%).

Ahead of the Government’s Autumn statement, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“With 10 million households feeling the squeeze and consumer confidence remaining low, the Government has a job on its hands to convince people that everything possible is being done to keep unavoidable costs like energy and food bills under control. We’re looking for further progress in reforming the energy market, an end to misleading food price promotions, and more competition in banking to take some of the pressure off hard-pressed consumers.”

Recent Which? research has also found that almost two thirds (65%) said the UK economy is having a negative impact on their personal finances.



Notes to editors

1 The Which? Squeezometer: is based on the Which? Consumer Insight Tracker Poll for October 2012. The poll asked 2,100 UK adults if they had experienced a range of financial difficulties in the previous month, and the squeezometer groups those financial difficulties into a series of five graded levels. Respondents are classified according to the most severe difficulty they said they had experienced.

2 Consumer Insight Tracker: from October’s data on the Which? Consumer Insight Tracker. This is updated on a monthly basis and available at: www.which.co.uk/consumerinsight

3 Recent additional Which? research: from the October 2012 Which? Quarterly Consumer Report  http://www.which.co.uk/about-which/who-we-are/quarterly-consumer-reports/

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