British workers tipped not to expect significant pay rises next year

British workers have been warned not to expect significant pay rises until 2015 at the earliest.

Mark Chote, who is the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, has predicted that average pay will only rise a smidgen above inflation next year.

In a speech to the Treasury Select Committee, he tipped wages to rise by an average of 2.6 per cent in 2014, with inflation dropping slightly to 2.3 per cent.

“Real earnings are flat next year and then there is clear growth in 2015,” he concluded.

This might be scant consolation to the millions of workers who have effectively taken pay cuts this year, as inflation dramatically outpaced wage rises. According to dailymail.co.uk, inflation was at 2.5 per cent in 2013, whilst wage rises equalled just 1.5 per cent.

The unexpectedly quick recovery of the British economy might have led some workers to have hoped for more impressive wage rises, but this looks far from likely now.

Commenting on these predictions, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said that “it seems reasonable to expect the hopes and dreams of the holiday season to be fulfilled”.

Nevertheless, scotsman.com reports that he was has quashed the rumours that interest rates could be likely to go up in 2014. In August, the Bank pledged it would not even entertain the thought of boosting interest rates until unemployment dropped below seven per cent.

Half of Brits living beyond their means

Half of the British population are living well beyond their means, according to new research.

A study conducted by Aviva has indicated that 50 per cent of adults in this country are over-spending by

Women more likely to be in serious debt than men

Women are almost twice as likely to find themselves in serious debt than men, according to new figures. 

A new study, conducted by the Money Advice Service (MAS), has indicated that roughly 8.8 million Brits are at least three months behind on their monthly bills and that almost two thirds (64 per cent) of them are women. 

Exactly three quarters of those in serious debt are under 45 years old, whilst one in five were part of a benefit-dependent family. 

Hull, Nottingham, Manchester, Knowsley and Liverpool were named as the five regions with the most debt-ridden residents. In all five of these areas, more than 40 per cent of residents are at least three months behind on their bills.

Worryingly, channel4.com reports that only one in six indebted Brits is seeking independent advice to help them deal with this problem.  

In an interview with itv.com, MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes argued that this was the most concerning figure to have emerged from the body's research.

She said: “Millions of people could escape their spiral of debt by accessing free advice. However, this study presents us with a fundamental challenge: the majority of people with debt difficulties do not seek advice.”

Unsecured personal debt up for the first time in five years

British households have fallen deeper into debt in the last year, according to new research.   

A report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) indicated that personal non-mortgage related debt has reached

Millions of Brits will use payday loans to fund Christmas

Millions of Brits will fund their festive celebrations using a payday loan this year, according to a new poll.

A survey conducted by the Money Advice Service has indicated that the average Brit will spend

Brits no better off despite economic recovery

Brits are no better off now than they were in the midst of the recession, despite a significant increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). 

A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has indicated that the average household is unable to benefit from the economic recovery, because the cost of everyday essentials has risen faster than cumulative real GDP growth. 

It suggested that the average household now spends 27.3 per cent of their post-tax income on essentials like rent, mortgage payments and bills, up from 19.9 per cent a decade ago.

For example, 20.6 per cent of Brits' post-tax income is typically spent on housing, whilst 3.1 per cent is now spent on gas and electricity. According to theweek.co.uk, that means Brits are now spending 72 per cent more on energy bills than they were ten years ago.

With other essentials like food rising faster than real GDP growth too, it's little wonder that Brits have no more disposable income now than they did when the recession was in full swing.

Reacting to the statistics, an ONS spokesperson claimed that it was unusual to see that a growth in GDP not causing a growth in disposable income. Thisismoney.co.uk reports that there is evidence of this occurring between 1955 and 2009, but not since.

One in ten Brits are always overdrawn

One in ten Brits are constantly overdrawn, according to new research.   

In a survey conducted by thinkmoney, ten per cent of Brits admitted they were never able to get their finances out of the red, whilst another 11 per cent admitted dipping into their overdrafts on a monthly basis.

This fifth of the population could be the most likely to need external help should an unexpected bill take their monthly spending higher than normal.

According to freshbusinessthinking.com, men and women were found to be equally likely to make use of their bank's overdraft facility, although youngsters were much more likely to use it than older generations. One in eight 25 to 34-year-olds said they were constantly overdrawn, compared to just a small fraction of those aged over 65.   

Those living in Northern Ireland appear to be the best at managing their money. Only half of them said that they ever use their overdraft.

In an interview with mirror.co.uk, Thinkmoney director of communications Ian Williams suggested it was important for Brits to try and get back into the black. 

“Slipping into overdraft territory is a common fear and the charges can soon mount up, especially for those who don't have an authorised overdraft,” he said.

More than three-quarters of Brits will ration their energy use this winter

More than three-quarters of British residents are planning to ration their energy use this winter in order to save money, according to a new poll.

In a survey conducted by uSwitch, respondents ranked energy bills as their biggest financial concern for the coming months.

The costs of gas and electricity ranked ahead of food prices, petrol prices and council tax in the list of Britons' greatest financial fears.

In an interview with yourmoney.com, uSwitch's director of consumer policy, Ann Robinson, appeared unsurprised that so many Brits would be forced to use their energy sparingly.

She said: “When it comes to affordable energy the country is at crisis point. Consumers are being forced to turn down and switch off in an attempt to shield themselves from the impact of higher fuel bills.

“This winter we will be seeing even more going without adequate heating for fear of racking up a bill they cannot afford – this is the grim reality for many households in Britain today.”

Dailypost.co.uk reports that the average UK heating bill will soon jump to

Energy companies accused of keeping money owed to previous customers

Britain's largest energy companies have been accused of stockpiling billions of pounds worth of customers' money not owed to them.

British Gas has recently admitted that it has kept hold of the money of customers who are in credit, even after they switched to another supplier. According to dailymail.co.uk, it's believed that other companies could be doing the same.

The news could cause outrage amongst customers who may be struggling to make ends meet as a result of recently announced increases in their energy bills.

Energy minister Greg Barker has promised to investigate the accusations and assured Brits that the government will do everything in their power to force the companies to pay back the money to customers.

Speaking to scotsman.com, he said: “Customers will

One in five Brits have no savings

A fifth of UK households have no savings stored away, according to a new study.   

A poll, conducted by consumer organisation Which?, found that half of the country is worried about their level of savings, with 43 per cent admitting they would struggle to cope with an unexpected bill.

According to which.co.uk, it was indicated that the average Brit puts away just over