- 48% strongly approve of the new flexible ISA and 42% of the introduction of tax-free savings allowance
- 65% don’t think the Chancellor understands ordinary people
- 76% say they have seen no improvement in their general standard of living – one in three feel it has deteriorated
- Half say essential household bills have increased over the last year
Despite the Government declaring Britain the ‘comeback country’, more than half of Brits surveyed say they are not seeing the economic recovery in their personal finances, according to uSwitch research.
Crowd pleasing policies: ISA reforms and tax breaks
The popular policies from the budget were the attractive tax cuts aimed at first-time buyers, workers and savers.
- 48% were very satisfied with the introduction of the new flexible ISA
- 42% approved of the introduction of tax-free savings allowance
- A third of those surveyed welcome the new Help to Buy ISA
- One in three a pleased with the rise in personal tax allowance to £10,800
Overall more people feel they’re financially better off (29%) than worse off (20%) as a result of the announcements made in the Budget and 40% of people feel more confident about the country’s finances than they did after last year’s budget (36%).
No improvement in living standards and rising bills
Despite this the majority (76%) of people say they did not see an improvement in their living standards over the last 12 months,
Half witnessed an increase in essential household bills. To cope with the rising bills:
- 54% are reducing the amount they spend on food
- 57% have cut down on heating and hot water
- 21% have even had to cut back on essential healthcare, such as dentist appointments and prescriptions
Are the Tories out of touch?
The research highlights that the Chancellor is out of touch with everyday financial struggles – almost two thirds say he doesn’t understand the financial fears of ordinary people.
Despite the triumphal tone of yesterday’s budget, 57% don’t trust the current Government to make the best decisions for their financial future.
The Chancellor failed to address some of the country’s biggest issues, according to the research:
- 70% felt cuts to the NHS were ignored
- followed by care costs for the elderly (57%)
- the cost of energy (54%)
- and youth unemployment (33%)
Comeback country, or a long way to go?
David Mann, money expert at uSwitch.com, says:
“The Chancellor has dubbed Britain ‘the comeback country’ but many aren’t yet seeing the benefits of economic recovery. With many still being forced to make cutbacks across their everyday lives to have a basic standard of living, there’s still a long way to go.
“There was some good news for savers who have suffered a raw deal throughout the recession with rock bottom interest rates. A rise in the minimum wage is encouraging and thanks to the increase in the tax-free personal allowance, the average earner will be £120 better off a year.
“However, Osborne’s claim that ‘the pound goes further these days’ has left many believing he doesn’t understand the financial fears of ordinary people.”