Three quarters not feeling benefits of recovery

74 per cent of consumers say they have not yet felt the benefits of the fledgling economic recovery, according to a survey by uSwitch.com.

Despite economic growth of 1.8 per cent in 2013, the research found that 54 per cent of UK households feel their standard of living has declined in the last year, while 83 per cent reported a rise in household bills.

With 70 per cent of consumers now feeling worse off now than they did in 2010, many have had to cut back on essentials:

  • 53 per cent are reducing their spending on food
  • 63 per cent are cutting back on heating and hot water
  • 23 per cent are going without essential healthcare, such as dentistry and prescriptions.

While the Chancellor's changes to pensions and ISAs are intended to benefit savers, the majority of survey respondents felt that George Osborne has failed to combat the rising cost of living.

Two thirds believe that the Government does not understand the financial fears of ordinary people and 62 per cent do not trust it to make the best decisions for their financial future.

Although 66 per cent of people praised the creation of a 'NISA' and 65 per cent welcomed the pension reforms, four in ten people are more concerned about their finances since the Budget.

Jafar Hassan, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, said:

"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... Consumers have been left hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.

"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."

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