Walking the tightrope

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

It’s that time of year. The political party conference season is underway. Indeed, as I write this, the Labour party conference is already in full swing and the Conservative party conference will begin next week.

As with every conference season, there will inevitably be the traditional plans for a better future and baiting of the opposition. This year’s conferences are arguably more significant than most, as this is likely to be the last time the parties parade ideas and policies in public before their final manifestos are finalised ahead of next year’s General Election.

As such, this is an opportunity for politicians to get right to the heart of what matters to the electorate. This year there will be significant discussion around devolution across all regions of the UK, the future of the NHS and the issue of immigration. But, of all the issues to be discussed, probably the most important, as always, will be that of the economy and, more importantly, the financial reality that people the length and breadth the country are currently experiencing.

The truth is, the daily financial pressures that people find themselves under to not only survive, but to save for the future remains a tightrope that many are struggling to walk. Currently, according to a recent survey conducted on our behalf, one in four people feel that their financial situation will worsen over the next three months, while one in three people who regard themselves as savers now regularly dip into their savings to help pay for monthly outgoings.

Household budgets are at full stretch, with the average disposable income now standing at just eight per cent of take home salary. Despite this, there remains a desire by many to save, with 60 per cent of people currently putting money aside each month. To these people, there is an understanding that building a savings foundation is the best way to protect themselves and their families in the future.

So, as the politicians and party members meet to discuss what can and cannot be achieved over the next twelve months, we would ask them to take a look at our research, listen to what the people of the UK are asking, and then use this knowledge to create sensible policies to help those who are walking the tightrope, supporting them as they build a financial future for themselves.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk. Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.