Rising costs hit Britain in the middle

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The Independent Online

Britain's middle classes have seen their spending power eroded over the past two years as the cost of fuel, food, drink and heating has soared.

Research by the AXA Financial Task Force shows that Middle Britain now has less money to spend on luxuries. Over the past 10 years, however, the study revealed that Middle Britain is almost 40 per cent more wealthy.

The authors – the Centre for Business and Economic Research – classified Middle Britain as households that earn between £40,000 and £100,000 a year. While around one in three people described themselves as being part of "Middle Britain" in a recent YouGov survey, the report said that only about 20 per cent of the British population are actually part of the group.

Steve Folkard of AXA said: "Many people think that Middle Britain represents the majority – the middle section – of households. And thanks to an inflated housing market, many people probably feel they belong in that category. Our research shows that Middle Britain is in fact a smaller group of families, though many of the stereotypes still apply.

"Despite seeing an increase in [income after tax] over the past two years, the typical Middle Britain household has not been able to increase their relative spending power."

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