Simon Read: Hardship and bankruptcies loom as unfair cuts hit home
Saturday 23 October 2010
The full horror of the effect of the Coalition Government's unfair spending cuts will hit home in coming months as hard-up families find it tougher than ever to get by.
Public sector who are losing their jobs are most at risk.
"The number of personal bankruptcies and those seeking IVAs is likely to rise sharply again over the next two years," warns Alec Pillmoor, of Baker Tilly Recovery and Restructuring. "By the end of next year the total could reach 40,000 in a quarter for the first time."
Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive, warns of an "explosion of homelessness" after the cutbacks to housing benefit and the "extraordinary" decision to raise the single room rate to 35-year-olds.
Those living on a financial knife-edge look set to suffer even further under the current government, and the decision to hit the poorest hardest is shameful.
For instance, the plans to scrap child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers will affect 1.5 million children in single-income families, according to the TUC. Of those families losing their child benefit, more than 100,000 have at least three children, and would therefore lose at least £2,500 a year.
In the short term, millions of us will need to tighten our belts even further just to survive, but it's important not to ignore the long term. The Coalition's decision to bring forward by six years theraising of the state retirement age to 66 will affect millions of people, effectively everyone under the age of 57.
If you have a decent nest-egg locked away already to pay for your retirement, then having to wait an extra 12 months for the state pension may not be too much of a problem.
But for the majority of people these days who have no adequate pension planning in place, the move should make them think a little more seriously about how they will plan for their retirement years.
Women are worst hit by the Government's change of plan. Over the next 10 years, women's state pension age will increase by six years, from 60 to 66 while, in the same decade, men's state pension age will increase by just one year.
Number crunchers at Fidelity have calculated that a 45-year-old woman turning 60 in 2025 will miss out on around £46,976 in basic state pension as a result of the changes. This is based on the current basic state pension, £97.65 per week, rising by 2.5 per cent each year.
The same 45-year-old woman who decides to save for herself so that she could still afford to retire at 60 on the equivalent of the state pension would need to save an extra £175 per month from now for the next 15 years to have a pot of £49,681.
Women are also likely to be the biggest losers from public sector job cuts. Analysis by The Independent shows that around 350,000 women will lose their jobs over the next four years, compared to just 150,000 men.
The figures underline the importance of having adequate savings, both for the long-term and for more immediate needs. Of course, if your family budget is already under pressure, it may simply be impossible to set aside cash now for future needs. In the coming weeks I'll be counselling advice from money experts on how to survive the cutbacks.
Osborne urged not to cut fuel allowance
george osborne has been accused of misleading people about cuts to the winter fuel allowance, after he stated in his Spending Review that "Winter Fuel Payments will remain exactly as budgeted for by the previous government."
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) says this in fact means that in the winter of 2011-2012 the £250 per household currently paid to those over 60 but under 80 will drop to £200, and the £400 paid to the over-80s will fall to £300. This despite a pledge in the Coalition Government's programme to protect the allowance. "The winter death rate among older people is a national scandal and getting worse," says Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary.
"Last winter over 36,700 pensioners died of cold-related illnesses – a staggering 13 pensioners every hour."
Around 3 million pensioner households are already are living in "fuel poverty" – that is, spending more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel bills. "People need to be reassured that they will not be financially punished for keeping warm in winter," says Gibson.
She urged the Government to give the over-60s confidence "that they will be able to pay their bills, by immediately ruling out any changes to the winter fuel allowance."
Budget 2015: George Osborne is set to get tough with further cuts in public spending
Five Questions On: GB Energy's new tariff
Simon Read: 'Taylor Swift tickets purchased on Viagogo were cancelled hours before the concert'
Simon Read: You're guilty until proven innocent when HMRC sends in the tax credit detectives
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
Day In a Page
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.