Consumers question economic recovery

Over half of Britons felt their standard of living deteriorated last year, with 83% reporting that their essential household bills shot up.

Seven in 10 feel worse off now than they did in 2010, while two thirds go so far as accusing the Chancellor of not understanding the financial fears of ordinary people.

Over half have reduced spending on food, while three in five have cut back on heating and hot water.

Worryingly, 23% have cut back on essential healthcare.

Jafar Hassan, personal finance expert at, said: “The reality is that in the last year the cost of living has soared to such a level that, coupled with poor salary increases, families are being forced to jeopardise their health and wellbeing just to make ends meet.

“However, consumers shouldn’t lose all hope as there are always things they can do to improve their finances, no matter how small. Households should use this year’s Budget as an opportunity to review their own finances to ensure they’re paying no more than they need to on essential bills.”

Two in three households say they would need an additional £220 a month to ease the pressure on their finances and help them stay afloat.

Consumers see the cost of energy as the biggest issue George Osborne failed to address, while over 63% feel the government should have tackled banker bonuses.

Hassan added: “The Budget may have gone some way to appease pensioners and savers but ultimately it didn’t go far enough to address the rising cost of living.

“Soaring household bills coupled with inadequate pay rises has left a burning hole in our pockets.”