Nearly a quarter of people in Luton unable to save over next 12 months
Nearly a quarter of adults in Luton do not expect to save money over the next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, figures suggest.
That’s according to an Office for National Statistics survey, which asked people if they think they will be able to put aside cash in the next 12 months, considering the general economic outlook.
In Luton, 23% of those aged 16 and over said they will not be able to do so – although this was lower than the average of 31% across England and Wales.
The largest proportion of people in Luton (60%) thought they would be able to save over the next year – above the England and Wales average of 49% – while a further 15% said they didn’t know.
But the ONS said the results of the poll, carried out between January 7 and March 28, should be treated with caution where samples sizes were low – 80 people in the area responded to the question.
The ONS carried out the research to understand more about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s happiness.
It found that adults who do not expect to be able to save over the next year are much more likely to report being less happy than those who do.
People were also asked to rate how happy they felt the day before they were surveyed on a scale from zero – meaning “not happy at all” – to 10, signifying “completely happy”.
In Luton, the average score was 6.6, the same as across England and Wales.
"It is concerning that so many of us are unable to save any money in the near future,” said Sara Willcocks, head of external affairs at anti-poverty charity Turn2us.
“Savings can give people financial security and offer vital protection against life's unexpected costs.
"We urge the Government to take action to help increase people's incomes, to stop the debt crisis that is round the corner, and the mental health anguish that will follow.”