Are we spending less, or just spending smarter?

22 March 2011

In the olden days, people used to wash dishes in one of these... photo by SheCat

In advance of tomorrow’s Budget, few people are expecting good news from the Chancellor, and new figures from eBay suggesting that 68% of people think the Budget will hamper future spending. If you are planning on spending your money on beer, fags and petrol, you may have a point there.

The eBay survey interviewed 2,000 UK adults and of these, 49% said that January’s VAT increase has had a noticeable impact on their cost of living and 41% have intentionally reduced their spending since the rise. So you could say that most people do not think the VAT rise has impacted their cost of living and have not reduced their spending then.

But it’s OK. We have more stats to try and force the point. According to eBay (the first place most people go to buy useless crap big ticket household appliances), sales of dishwashers dropped by 7% and fridges and freezers by 12% in January 2011, when traditionally sales increase by 7% and 9% in January.

Shock horror. However, sales of dishwashers were up 40% in December and fridges and freezers 37%, when normally the month on month increase is 12% and 9%.

Of course what this means is that rather than the population being on the breadline, and not even being able to afford a dishwasher for God’s sake, more of us are just using our noggin and bought big things in December to beat the VAT rise. Which is kind of a no-brainer, a bit like this survey.

Still, it’s OK - we have someone to blame. 57% of survey respondents hold the previous Labour Government responsible, and 40% find the current Coalition Government at fault.


  • TeflonMan
    78 % of all statistics are made up on the spot.
  • virus
    If Rebecca Black was dying, 71% of people would start liking her like they do Jade Goody - Because we're all at a loss without Jade's inspiring words and tolerance for others.
  • Boris
    I'm spending fewer.
  • callum
    People generally think what they are told to think though. The only thing I've noticed since the VAT rates went up was the weird pricing on my mobile phone contract (was £20, now £20.24). 2ish% is a pretty small amount to make a noticeable difference on things you buy (especially as most of my shopping is VAT exempt).
  • Peter
    The hooker I was with last night wanted £60.36, due to the VAT rise. So I slapped her.

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