Poverty alert after report

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THE average Wigan family could be just two weeks away from the breadline, according to latest research.

Legal and General’s latest Deadline to the Breadline Report reveals that within just 14 days of losing their usual sources of income, the average family in the North West will be reliant upon state benefits and friends and family alone for financial support, once their savings run out.

Analysis in the report suggests that this deadline looks set to shorten further, as households are expecting to see both their disposable incomes and their savings fall in the year ahead.

The shocking fact is that the 14 days only applies to those who have savings.

With the median household savings and investments for households in the North West currently standing at just £510, a number of people in this region could find themselves on the breadline tomorrow, in the event of a financial disaster.

Duncan Finch, managing director, Retail Protection at Legal and General, said: “Recent economic indicators are encouraging and suggest a recovery may be on the horizon.

“However, our latest Deadline to the Breadline Report shows that the financial situation for most families in the North West remains very difficult.

“People in this area are clearly still under a great deal of pressure; earnings are being squeezed and saving is difficult. It’s therefore unsurprising, but still very worrying, to see that the average family in the North West is just 14 days away from the breadline.

“UK families have seen their disposable incomes fall by £21 per month in the past year and a shocking 37 per cent of households report having no savings at all. Unforeseen events ranging from illness to redundancy often lead to a sudden loss of income. These families would be left dependent solely on the state, unless they have some other source of protection.

“This Deadline to the Breadline should act as a wake-up call for families in the North West and elsewhere to ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves from the worst.”