Few new measures to protect budgets from being obliterated by cost-of-living crisis, says ii.
Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “The cost-of-living crisis was addressed off the bat, but the measures listed in the breakdown of policies being taken forward included few new announcements to help people with the biggest fall in living standards in generations. It seems that after two years of Covid support measures, households have now largely been left to go it alone, a terrifying prospect given inflation forecasts of up to 10% for the rest of the year.
“As things stands, many household budgets are set to be obliterated by the growing cost of living storm, which is set to go from bad to worse with the energy price cap set to rise again in October. As such, it is vital people think about how to fortify their finances against rising prices and consider what protective steps are necessary to take now to avoid money worries later. A savings cash buffer to deal with shocks and rising prices is crucial - three months’ salary is a good rule of thumb.
Access to cash
“Legislation to protect access to cash is in the pipeline but was not explored in the speech. Access to cash withdrawals has been under threat in recent years, with bank branches going the way of the dodo amid the shift to online and mobile banking, while cashpoints are few and far between in some areas. This can be infuriating and result in people having to travel unreasonable distances to pay in or take out cash.
“Notes and coins still remain important to the daily lives of millions – particularly elderly people and those on low incomes, who are cash dependent. As such, protecting access to cash infrastructure is crucial.
Online Safety Bill
“The online safety bill will continue to proceed through Parliament. The hope is that the Online Safety Bill will go some way to plug the flood of financial scams that have mushroomed during the pandemic, or offer some protection against harmful content. However, the onus still falls on individuals to avoid financial harm – there is no getting around it.”
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