Ahead of the Autumn Statement, Which? is calling on the government to put consumers at the heart of measures to drive economic recovery as new research finds more than 10 million households feeling the squeeze.
The Which? Squeezometer, a new tracker launched today based on the monthly Which? Consumer Insight poll, reveals more than a third of the population (39%) are feeling the squeeze, equalling 10.2m households.
This includes 2.3m households who have defaulted on a loan, bill or housing payment, and 1.5m households that have taken out one or more unauthorised overdrafts or payday loans, just to make ends meet.
Fall in consumer confidence hits the UK
The latest Which? Consumer Insight Tracker has also found:
- A third (32%) of people are finding it difficult to cope on their current level of income.
- Consumers’ top worries are the price of food (85%), energy (85%) and fuel (78%).
- Two thirds of people are worried about future tax levels (68%), interest rates on their savings (68%), the value of their pension (68%) and public spending cuts (64%).
Ahead of the government’s Autumn statement, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘With 10 million households feeling the squeeze and consumer confidence remaining low, the government has a job on its hands to convince people that everything possible is being done to keep unavoidable costs like energy and food bills under control.’
He added: ‘We’re looking for further progress in reforming the energy market, an end to misleading food price promotions, and more competition in banking to take some of the pressure off hard-pressed consumers.’