Ten years on from the onset of the global credit crunch, millions of people are still enduring financial pain. New research from GoCompare has found that nearly half (46%) of the UK’s population feel worse off now than they did in 2007, with one in four concerned that they would be in serious financial trouble should another economic downturn hit.
Amid worries of another recession, GoCompare’s ‘State of the Nation – 10 years on’ study looked at people’s attitudes towards finances a decade after the global downturn, revealing some startling figures about employment, the rich-poor divide and retirement, among other issues.
Overall, the study paints a fairly concerning picture of a lack of job security, increasing wealth disparity and a reliance on credit to make ends meet.
The UK’s biggest anxieties over the next 12 months
|Anxiety||% of people|
|1||Rising household bills and living costs||55%|
|2||Inability to save money||30%|
|3||Not being able to prepare for retirement||22%|
|4=||Lack of a secure future for the next generation||15%|
|4=||Struggling to repay credit card and other unsecured debts||15%|
|6||Not being able to afford my mortgage/rent payments||11%|
While the last decade has seen 55% of people face increased living costs, a quarter of people have felt the squeeze with their income either staying the same or declining. There is also a massive lack of job security, with just 16% of people feeling secure in their employment. The struggle to make ends meet was illustrated in the study with 10% of those surveyed admitting to holding more personal debt than they did before the credit crunch.
As a result, over a quarter (26%) of people are worried that they will be hit particularly hard financially if there is another economic downturn, with 24% admitting to not having the safety net of an emergency-fund.
It isn’t surprising then that over almost two fifths (38%) of people said that, as a country, they don’t think the UK has learned the lessons from the credit crunch. A third (34%) of people put some of the blame on financial institutions, believing that they are still encouraging people to borrow more than they can afford to repay
A final note from the study was an apparent widening financial divide between the rich and poor – most of the adults surveyed (76%) think that inequality of wealth has grown since the start of the credit crunch.
Commenting on the research findings, Matt Sanders from GoCompare said: “August 2017 marks a decade since the start of the credit crunch – the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And, from our study, it’s clear that many people are still feeling the effects of the world-wide economic meltdown and are ill prepared for another crash. “The problem of rising costs for goods and services and stagnant wages has been widely reported in the media, with the Government committed to helping people it has identified as just managing.”