People in North Somerset have less cash to spend than the average UK worker, new figures reveal
PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 June 2017
Falling wages have left some people in North Somerset ‘on the edge’ as new statistics reveal people in the district have £1,000 less to spend every year than the average UK worker.
These latest figures, released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), have illustrated North Somerset is below the national average, in terms of disposable income.
The typical person in the district has £1,544 to spend each month, after all bills have been paid. However, across the UK that figure stands at £1,621.
Over a year, this equates to £19,447 a year left to spend for the average UK worker, but just £18,533 for those in North Somerset.
While this is by no means the worst in the country, the decline in wages has left the Citizens Advice Bureau’s branch in North Somerset concerned.
However, Fiona Cope, who is the organisation’s chief officer, said there are multiple reasons people end up struggling. She said: “Citizens Advice North Somerset helps a lot of people who are just managing. These are individuals and families who are not rich, but also not the poorest in society and who – despite mostly being in work – find day-to-day life a struggle.
“While the squeeze on incomes has left many households close to the edge it is the problems life throws at people which knock them over – and it can make the difference between managing and not. Problems like aggressive debt collection tactics can turn ‘just managing’ into ‘not managing’ overnight, particularly when people fall behind with things like council tax.”
The problems seem to be much deeper in North Somerset, with a high amount of inequality across the district, which is not shown through the statistics. However, it is something Ms Cope has seen first hand.
She added: “Further problems arise from the in-work welfare system which is quite often confusing and is slow to react to changing circumstances which bring insecurity and overpayments rather than security. North Somerset has the third largest range of inequality in the country and this is reflected in the clients that we help. “
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