About 20 percent reported a drop in the amount of money they were able to earn, save or spend as the lockdown kicked in in April, a study on the social impact of the disease found. More than a third of people expect to see a drop in their household income over the next 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics. But it is those living in London and the South-east who are the most pessimistic as 48 percent expect their finances to worsen.
Peter Briffett, chief executive of the income streaming provider Wagestream, said: “Few doubt that the UK economy is in for a turbulent few years as it seeks to adjust to the new normal created by the pandemic and the winding down of the furlough support scheme later in the year is when job losses look set to accelerate. Many are predicting Seventies-style, double-digit unemployment as the economy seeks to recalibrate and personal finances will be hit hard as a result.
“Londoners and people in the South-east are the most bearish around their personal finances. Why is hard to know but it may be because they are often more leveraged and therefore exposed if they lose their jobs or are earning less. Discretionary spending is definitely down and commuting costs have also plummeted but the sheer uncertainty about job prospects means financial stress is rising all the time.”
The survey also found 80 percent of people in Wales are stressed or anxious about the virus – only beaten by those living in the North East of England.
Health and access to care was worrying 23 percent of adults while 19 percent had concerns over work, school or university.
About 12 percent were frustrated about not being able to plan for the future and 11 percent were worried about access to essentials and transport.
More than one in three people reported that they struggled to get groceries and toiletries.
The survey also found that the Welsh were most likely to stay in their gardens and least likely to visit a park or public green space.
James Harris, cities statistician the ONS said: “Levels of worry and concern are high across all countries and regions, with many of us keeping in touch with families and friends, but we also find differences in how lockdown has affected people around Great Britain.”
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