Belfast Telegraph

Half of working households worry about Brexit effect on their money, says report

Half of working-age households are worried about the impact of Brexit on their financial wellbeing, a quarterly report has found.

Research from savings and Isa provider Scottish Friendly found that 51.9% of households are concerned about the long-term impact of leaving the EU compared with 48.1% in the last quarter.

The Disposable Income Index (DII) report, compiled in conjunction with the Social Market Foundation think-tank, shows that disposable income remained relatively flat with a small 2.4% improvement overall, bolstered by low inflation and the continued positive impact of the National Living Wage.

However, just 18.8% of households feel they have more cash left over at the end of the month than they did 12 months ago and nearly half (47%) of households are worried about how they would deal with a large, unexpected bill.

The proportion of UK households spending more than their income on housing costs has risen from 5.8% to 7.1% this quarter, and nearly one in five households (18.3%) aged 18 to 24 spend more than their income on housing costs alone.

However, people continue to feel secure in their jobs, with just over a quarter (26.9%) concerned that Brexit could affect their employment.

This figure rose to 54.2% among 18 to 24-year-olds and 49.5% of 25 to 34-year-olds.

The most immediate concern in the weeks directly following the referendum was that prices would increase, with worry abut this rising from 40.3% before the referendum to 47.9% in the weeks after - although a third (32.1%) of people are not worried about the impact of Brexit at all (32.1%).

Just over half of all households (51.5%) regularly save or invest each month - the second quarter in a row showing a slight improvement.

More than a tenth (11.6%) are planning to save more as a result of the EU referendum, compared with 5.6% who plan to save less.

Scottish Friendly spokesman Calum Bennie said: "Clearly the economic consequences of the Brexit vote are at the forefront of people's minds when it comes to planning their finances.

"Concerns persist as monthly disposable income has remained relatively flat.

"There is still a sense of financial fragility in many parts of the UK and amongst young people in particular, who don't feel as secure in their jobs or as able to save as older generations."