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October 9, 2007    

10-year squeeze on household income

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by Kay Murchie

Households are suffering the biggest pinch on their finances in 10 years due to items such as higher bills and tax increases. Research shows that the Government’s take from taxes has soared by 85% since 1997.

The report by the price comparison website, uswitch.com reveals that a 54.7% growth in gross pay since 1997 has translated to a much lower rise of 44% in household income, placing it at an average of £33,941.

Furthermore, the average annual cost of a family’s priority bills have increased from £11,565 to £16,411. The report was based on figures from the Office for National Statistics and showed that spending on housing has increased because the cost of an average home has soared in the last decade by 231%.

Consequently, Britons are taking on larger loans which require higher monthly repayments. The report also established that council tax is up 92%.

Since 1997, other increases include communications such as mobile, broadband and telephone. Health costs have increased, primarily due to higher dental fees. Insurance is up 51% and the price of petrol has increased 54%.

A spokesperson for uswitch.com said the priority for any family is keeping a roof over its head, along with warmth, light and transport. As a nation, we are working harder but we’re not getting any richer.

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