The typical household in the UK has seen disposable income drop by 15 per cent in the last year as food prices and utility bills soar.
Disposable income now represents 28 per cent of average household income, down from 35 per cent a year ago, according to a survey published on Monday by uSwitch.com, the price comparison website. This is the equivalent of £14,520, down from £17,102.
On one level the figures are unsurprising given the well-publicised double-digit rises in the prices of many staples ranging from petrol to a loaf of bread.
But the survey quantifies the pressure on household finances which has helped to erode Labour’s popularity at the ballot box. Prices have risen by 28 per cent for gas, 20 per cent for electricity, 28 per cent for petrol and 25 per cent for food and drink.
The average family is also spending 6 per cent more on mortgage repayments as a result of higher interest rates.
People living in Newcastle are now spending 77 per cent of their net income on bills – far more than the 35 per cent spent by those in Surrey or Buckinghamshire.
It’s not hard to see why the Scottish National party will be campaigning at the next Scottish by-election, Glenrothes, on the cost of living. This was the clinching factor in Glasgow East.
You could almost feel sorry for Labour…if they hadn’t taken the entire credit when times were good.