Why bankers are rich and our health is poor

I have started subscribing to Money statistics at ‘The Money Charity’. I rather wish I hadn’t.

It is an uncomfortable realisation that a whopping 3,118 Consumer County Court Judgements were issued every day in 2017, with an average value of £1,493.

Meanwhile the so called National Debt (which many might prefer to call National Savings) has been falling by £45m per day in 2018.

For the rest of us £1,169.92 is the increase in the amount of private debt owed per adult in the UK since this time last year.

So that’s National Debt down, Private Debt up – precisely the wrong formula to reboot the failing economy. Here is the personal debt in chart form showing that the long term trend for personal debt is also upwards.

Meanwhile we learn that the increase in households with no savings over the last year is 340,000 – that’s an INCREASE of more than a third of a million to add to the almost 9.5 million who already had no savings – and, as the chart below shows, even those with savings of no more than £1500 is on an upward trend.

The Money Charity report also “reveals that 71% of households (19.3 million) have less than £10,000 in savings – an increase of over 800,000 people. This means that for the majority of UK households, big purchase items such as a car or house deposit will likely require financial support either through family and friends, or through creditors”.

In 2016 the ONS estimate is of 27.1 million households in the UK. So that’s almost a third of households (not, note, individuals) have no savings and by raising the bar to £1500 very nearly half of all UK households have savings less than this. And yet we are supposed to be a rich country.

The government tries to suggest that the fact that more of us have jobs is indicative of increasing prosperity and of their skillful economic management.

These charts show the reverse. Many people, whilst they have jobs, are in jobs that do not translate into improving wages, and very many clearly provide remuneration insufficient to cover the expenses of a normal life.

Indeed a recent survey for the Living Wage Foundation has found that among UK parents working full time and earning less than the real Living Wage (defined as £1,794 per annum more than the statuary ‘Living Wage’) over a third have regularly skipped meals due to a lack of money, and almost half have fallen behind on household bills.

No wonder people thought that Brexit could offer a solution.

No wonder people are more and more stressed and the nation’s health – particularly mental health – is suffering.

And all because the government refuses to ensure equitable distribution of the money it alone creates.


  1. Sean Danaher -


    This is very depressing. I was shocked last year when it was revealed that 16M people had less than £100 in savings http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37504449 but things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

    The country seems to be going backwards. Reducing national debt is fine if the economy is overheating, but the Government will sell it and the increasing employment figures as the country doing well. One hopes this neoliberal con trick is close to its end point.

Comments are closed.