UK Families are Living on the Edge

by Mark Johnston

UK families are facing an uncertain financial future due to the continuing harsh economic climate, as well as them being hit by the coalition’s cutbacks, 88% of which lie ahead over the next four years. Both of which have contributed to high unemployment, ever rising mortgage cost, increased living costs and cuts to families incomes.

A recent report has suggested that these issues are creating a nation of ‘on the brink Britons’.

Almost 8 out of 10 people feel that family life is now much tougher than it was a decade ago.

Some experts believe that today’s society is increasingly becoming one in which people with burdens such as mortgages and extremely high rents are being forced to just accept their financial lot in life.

Frighteningly new research published recently has shown that 20% of families are struggling to cope financially, while another two fifths are just about getting by.

Many people are now being forced to resort to desperate measures as they turn to high priced pay day loans to get by and some have even begun to sell their possessions online.

The Scottish widows funded survey also revealed that as the cash crisis deepens 1 in 5 people have borrowed from a family member or friend in the past year.

A comprehensive study of the finances of employed households, which was commissioned by the Guardian, found that 2.2 million children live in families balancing on the edge of poverty, despite one or both parents earning a low to middle income.

Oxfam reported that more and more people in poverty were working than unemployed. People working were shown to be increasingly turning to charities for help; with thousands more accessing food banks this year than last.

These figures reveal that despite the government claiming people are better off working than on benefits, the fact is that having a job is no protection against homelessness and destitution in modern day Britain.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said “for years the welfare state has not helped those people who are in work but on low incomes. What is clear is that the existing system does not help those families who strive to do the right thing”.

The idea that hard work leads to prosperity has been clearly exposed as a sham. Train for years to be a doctor or an accountant, or build up experience in an industry over a decade or more and get paid the same as someone who slacked through school and is doing work mastered in half an hour.

According to the ‘times of lives report’ by Aviva, people in the UK feel they need an extra £7,236 a year to live happily and comfortably.

Lord Leitch, chairman of the centre for the modern family, said “these findings paint a stark and in some cases desperate picture of family life in Britain today as families feel the squeeze of these difficult times”.

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