Latest Disposable Income Index Survey shows fall in spending money

Press release 6th May 2015

Savings on the decline despite year-on-year rise in disposable income

  • Year-on-year rise in disposable income of 1.7 per cent – equating to 9.9 per cent of take home salary
  • Number of people putting money aside fell last quarter by 16 per cent.

Disposable incomes have risen by 0.2 per cent over the last quarter, and by a year-on-year rise of 1.7 per cent according to the latest findings from Scottish Friendly’s ‘Disposable Income Index’. (1)

Despite this, 16 per cent less people have put money aside each month into savings and investments in the last three months – a reduction from 30.5 million people to 25.6 million.

The quarterly report that looks at the saving and spending habits across the UK has revealed that, after bills and essentials have been paid for, people are left with around 9.9 per cent of their salary in spending money, an average of £236 per person.

Calum Bennie, savings expert at Scottish Friendly, said: “It remains to be seen if this quarter’s slow growth in disposable income marks a trend for the rest of the year. However this together with uncertainty over the General Election result and possibly spending on one-off items like holidays has had an adverse effect on the level of savings and investments in the UK.”

Regionally the last quarter presented a mixed bag, with the North East seeing the largest rise in disposable income, climbing by 1.6 per cent. This was followed by the West Midlands and London which rose by 1.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

In comparison, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland fell by 1.2 per cent, and people in the East Midlands experienced a decline of 1.0 per cent.

Bennie, continued: “Despite the overall rise in national disposable income, not all areas of the country are thriving. If this continues, we could start to see a wider divergence in the UK between the haves and the have nots.”

The survey shows Scots currently have the highest levels of disposable income, with residents taking home on average 11.1 per cent of their salary left each month. This is closely followed by Londoners who have 10.0 per cent of their income left over each month.

Annual change in levels of disposable income by region:

Region of the UK

Per cent of salary attributed to disposable income – Q1 2015

Per cent of salary attributed to disposable income – Q2 2015

Percentage difference

Average disposable income Q2 2015


9.7 per cent

9.9 per cent

0.2 per cent


North East

7.6 per cent

9.2 per cent

1.6 per cent


West Midlands

8.6 per cent

10 per cent

1.4 per cent



9.1 per cent

10 per cent

0.9 per cent



10.7 per cent

11.1 per cent

0.4 per cent


South West

10.1 per cent

10.5 per cent

0.4 per cent


North West

9.5 per cent

9.3 per cent

-0.2 per cent



8.9 per cent

8.7 per cent

-0.2 per cent


South East

10.2 per cent

9.6 per cent

-0.6 per cent


East Midlands

11.3 per cent

10.3 per cent

-1.0 per cent


Yorkshire & Humberside

9.7 per cent

8.5 per cent

-1.2 per cent


Northern Ireland

9.2 per cent

8.0 per cent

-1.2 per cent


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