Autumn Statement about as popular as hair in a cheese sandwich
Last week, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was full of Good News about how well we are doing with the economy and how completely smashing George’s recovery plan has been. However, it seems that the general populace, the voters, are less impressed with Mr Osborne, with more than four in ten of us (41%) believing last week’s announcements will leave us worse off.
And that’s one of the better scores for the Chancellor. A survey of almost 4,000 people by USwitch.com found that almost two thirds of us (65%) are concerned about the country’s finances after the announcements, with 56% saying the same about their own financial circumstances following the Autumn Statement.
But we are also worried about what was not included in the Statement. When asked about issues not tackled by the Chancellor, three quarters of us (74%) felt care for the elderly should have been dealt with, along with payday loans (61%) and low savings rates (56%).
Unsurprisingly, the Chancellor’s big ticket item, the change in State Pension age, has not been popular, with almost six in ten people (59%) opposed to the change. Most of us (73%) think the Chancellor does not understand the financial fears of ordinary people and almost as many (69%) don’t trust the Government to make the best decisions for our financial future. Looking good for the 2015 election there, George.
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “The Autumn Statement has left most consumers deflated. The focus on the economy might be good for the financial health of the nation, but it has left individuals still feeling under the weather. The recovery is yet to reach their finances.”
“Increasing the retirement age so that many will now have to work until they are 70 was never going to win any friends even though most people understand the reasoning behind it. For existing pensioners, a rise of £2.95 a week to the state pension simply isn’t enough to help them cope with the spiralling cost of living. Even today another energy supplier has announced a price hike, which will eat into this small increase,” he finished.
So what do you think? Are you one of the 41% of people who are happy with the State Pension age increase (and is that because you escape its effects?), or are there other measures you think will adversely impact on your personal finances? Surely there was some Christmas cheer, with the freeze in fuel duty if nothing else?