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New study reveals full extent of cash crisis

Austerity Britain has been laid bare as the Bank of England revealed a picture of families suffering a huge loss of spending power and taking on second jobs to make ends meet.

Families have been hit with an average £552 fall in disposable income over the past year, according to the Bank's survey of 2,000 households. Workers in about half of all households surveyed by the Bank are putting in longer hours or taking on second jobs as a result of the income squeeze.

But things will get worse as the Chancellor George Osborne's spending cuts bite: “Fiscal consolidation is expected to have more of an impact in future than it has had over the past year,” the Bank's latest quarterly report said.

The responses chime with official figures that revealed falling employment levels but a rise in jobs — signalling that people are taking on more part-time work and second jobs to pay the bills.

The survey comes at the end of the worst year for Britain's finances since the Second World War, with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting a record 2.3% slide in disposable incomes.

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