Budget 2021: Victoria Scholar discusses announcement
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Sunak said inflation will average four percent next year but the Office for Budget Responsibility now reckons it could hit five percent. Interactive Investor’s head of investment Victoria Scholar examines other Budget claims in our exclusive video (above).
Britons will have just 0.8 percent more to spend by 2025 in real terms, as food, energy and council tax bills are all set to soar. So how will this affect ordinary families?
Mum-of-three grown-up children Maureen McKenna said inflation was her biggest worry before the Budget, and it still is.
“Fuel and the weekly shop have both got notably more expensive. In the supermarket, you get what’s available and there’s less choice. With fewer offers, we often have to buy the more expensive brands.”
Children Dominic, 22, Niamh, 20 and Anna, 17, are all studying hard at university and have part-time jobs to make ends meet. Despite living at home, they have little left over to contribute to family coffers.
During last year’s lockdown, all three kids and Maureen were working and studying from home, so their heating and energy bills shot up. “You use a lot of electricity when everyone is on their laptop most of the day,” she said.
Maureen would have liked to see the Chancellor do more to help people meet rising energy costs. “It’s disappointing, especially for those who cannot afford to keep their homes warm.”
Having just started working as a home-based travel consultant for Not Just Travel, Maureen’s income was hit hard when the pandemic struck.
“I started in May 2019, so wasn’t eligible for a grant from the Government. Instead, I had to get a Bounce Back Loan, so we had dig into savings and tighten our belts.”
Son Dominic is in his fourth year at university studying engineering and is keen to find work in renewable energy, while daughter Niamh is in her final year studying international business.
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Maureen added: “Rishi Sunak mentioned more investment and money for Research & Development and investment in the Teesside offshore energy site. I hope this means there will be more job opportunities when my children graduate.”
Sunak also mentioned giving more money to the devolved Governments, which she welcomed. “We will have to see what the Scottish Government does and how we benefit, but hopefully it will be positive, it’s good news.”
Overall, the budget will not help Maureen’s family that much. “Like most people, my major concern is the cost of living and how much prices are going to rise.”
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