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News - 27 December 2008

Are attempts to kick start the economy failing?

It would appear the Government's attempts to get us all spending again may have been in vain. It is hardly surprising since the decree to get out and spend comes hot on the tail of a severe ticking off for spending too much and borrowing money to do it.

A new survey suggests the Government's attempts to revive the economy have fallen on stony ground. The problem is we are all a bit confused about what we should and shouldn't be doing. Some people are so confused that they are using the money from their 'mortgage holiday' to go to Majorca.

VAT reductions, a freeze on repossessions and the lowest interest rates in decades have not tempted people back to the high street. According to a survey carried out by community website www.makefriendsonline.com people are not listening to the Government but seem to be spooked by the fact that we are in a recession and they may lose their jobs.

Half of the 10,000 respondents confirmed the government's stimulus measures have not made them spend more this Christmas than a year ago. In fact most of them (87%) confirmed their Christmas expenditure would not exceed the amount spent in 2007 and they would be more likely to cut than increase spending.

The most common cutbacks were:

  • Families agreeing to buy presents for children only, with adults going without this year.
  • Not buying presents for friends but spending only on direct family members.
  • Families agreeing to restrict themselves to cheap 'token' gifts.
  • Couples making a pact not to buy each other presents.


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