Personal Finance: Brown Revives Saving Habit

The Birmingham Post (England), December 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

Personal Finance: Brown Revives Saving Habit


Byline: John Cranage Personal Finance Editor

Whatever you think of Gordon Brown's handling of the economy there is one thing that most commentators agree on - he is doing little stimulate a much needed revival of the savings culture.

And while the Chancellor is happy to let public borrowing roar ahead (at pounds 37 billion this year the spending deficit is nearly four times the original forecast) it is little wonder that the rest of the country shrugs its shoulders and carries on with its own spending binge.

The extent of the 'live for today and let tomorrow look after itself' attitude to money has been highlighted by the latest annual report on savings by assurer Royal London.

It shows that more than half of the adult population (51 per cent) makes no regular savings. And among the minority that does, the amount put away each month has fallen by 12 per cent since the last report in 2002 (pounds 177 v pounds 202).

The good news is that in the West Midlands savings are increasingly - marginally.

The amount going into the region's piggy-banks has risen by an average of pounds 10 a month over the past year, but saving is still below the level needed to guarantee most people a comfortable old age. West Midland citizens are in fact more likely to save for a holiday (42 per cent) than for a pension (38 per cent).

Retirement planning fails to appear in the top three financial priorities of 62 per cent of the region's adult population.

Royal London spokesman Gareth Evans said of the report: 'It seems that no matter how many warnings the Government, industry and media give out about the pension crisis, we're just not getting through to people. …

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