Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A nation of paupers

I posted this chart about 6 months ago, but as they say, the old ones are sometimes the best.

As the title suggests, this chart gives a breakdown of savings by households. Just over half of UK families have savings of less than ₤1,500. Only 13 percent have more than ₤20,000. So, it would appear that the vast majority of people have very little to lose, at least in terms of savings, if the UK's equity markets crash and the banks fail.

Up to now, the financial crisis has been a problem for the rich. However, this will change now that the economy is on the slide and unemployment has started to rise.

Here is the thing that bothers me. What happens when people start retiring?

(The data is from the Office of National Statistics, Social Trends. The data refers to 2006).


  1. Several reasons why the retirement question is important, according to that chart:

    1) What savings can they retire on?
    2) If the stock market crash took down their pension plan, what can they retire on?
    3) If its defined benefit, then how many companies go bust / cut back on capex to fund pension plan?

    And of course where does the government get the tax income to fund the gold-plated sponsor-a-layabout pension schemes?

  2. London estate agentNovember 18, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Is it really that bad; OMG.

  3. I am comfortably in the final 13 percent, but am still treated like garbage by UK banks. The UK is still a socialist state with little respect for real wealth and hard work. I won't feel sorry for anyone losing their jobs until I get my arse covered in kisses by the service industry and banks in this country: my arse is very kiss-free right now, so twist in the wind!

  4. Do these stats include private pension savings? Cos if they do we ARE screwed! And what about public sector pensions which are a sort of saving as well. Are they included too?

  5. We should set up our own bank with sound moral foundations and sensible/safe investment ethics.

  6. On the plus side, the limit for DSS assistance is 16K in savings. Of course, they don't count house equity.
    So around 82% of people who have lost their jobs will qualify for assistance.
    Hurrah !

  7. "And what about public sector pensions which are a sort of saving as well."

    A sort of saving in the sense that no money has been saved.

  8. If this chart is correct then only 13% of the UK population can afford a one bedroom flat in London at a 25% deposit.

    ..wait.. hold on...
    Oh yeah, that explains a lot of things.

  9. Quote: "A sort of saving in the sense that no money has been saved."

    Not 100% true because some public sector employees pay pension contributions. Obviously not enough to pay for their benefits, as the taxpayer has to make up the rest. But they do pay something.

  10. If banks reduce their rates, they will lose their savers.
    Savings rates are an insult to prudence.
    I just received an e-mail from Bradford and Bingley telling me that they have reduced the rate on my internet account by the full 1.5%.... 5 minutes later I had closed the account !
    I strongly advise others to move money as well to send out a clear message to banks and building societies !!!

  11. Move your money to where exactly? Japan? Europe? America?

  12. "Not 100% true because some public sector employees pay pension contributions."

    1) Public sector doesn't pay tax. It's a nominal transaction.

    2) There's no NI fund. The money goes straight back out to the chavs welfare cheques.

  13. Anon@12:46 - Move the cash to Denmark!

    Bank interest on deposits are from 4.75% on a current account to 6.5%; guaranteed by the Danish Govern... err... Taxpayers up to an unlimited amount. Even my boooring local bank pays 5% on 3 month deposit.