Household Outgoings Exceeded Incomes in 2017 for First Time in 30 Years
July 25, 2018
Outgoings exceeded incomings across the UK for the average household during 2017 for the first time in almost 30 years.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the average household spent or invested roughly £900 more than they took as income over the course of last year.
Those figures suggest that Brits were collectively £25 billion in the red across the year, with 1988 having been the last time that outgoings outstripped incomes throughout the country and over an entire 12-month period.
The ONS has pointed out the even during times of financial crisis and the years 2008 and 2009, it was never the case that UK households were net borrowers over the course of any single year.
A report accompanying the official figures asks whether British households might be living beyond their means but some people have criticised that framing of the situation and the financial problems that people have been facing.
Phil Andrews, chief executive of the StepChange debt charity, has said: “It’s really unfortunate that this very useful data is so heavily sprinkled with the phrase that households are ‘living beyond their means’.
“The reality is that too many households, here in Britain, in 2018, simply cannot make ends meet, however hard they try,” he said.
“Not having enough money to make ends meet is not the same thing as living beyond your means – which implies you have a choice, when too many people do not.”
Mr Andrews went on to cite StepChange’s own figures to point out that a lot of people in Britain today spend upwards of 60 per cent and, in many cases, as much 90 per cent of their monthly income on essential household bills and food.
“It is lack of choice, rather than poor choice, that explains why an estimated 9 million people last year turned to credit to meet household needs,” he said.
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