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People plan smaller Christmas as UK inflation rises

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

A Girl is thinking

As costs rise, many are making plans for smaller Christmas celebrations. A BBC survey found that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the strain on their wallets.

62% of those surveyed indicated they plan to spend less than normal on Christmas and other holidays.

Adults who report having a household income of under £40,000 are more likely to claim they have considerably more modest plans for the coming year.

Inflation in the UK is anticipated to continue increasing, with prices growing at their quickest rate in 40 years once more in September.

Food costs increased along with electricity costs and transportation expenses.

According to a poll of 4,132 people, the three prices that are rising the most are food, gasoline, and energy.

Only 3% of those surveyed for the BBC by Savanta Comres claimed their Christmases will be more extravagant than they were the year before.

The study was done earlier this month, before Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revoked specific tax cuts, warned of additional government expenditure cuts, and stated that support on energy bills would be limited for some.

Kristie from Somerset expresses concern that Tesco's microwaveable meal will serve as the holiday supper this year.

Last year, she and her kid enjoyed a traditional Christmas feast that included turkey, ham, and vegetables.

She claims, however, that this year she won't be able to afford the electricity necessary to run her cooker for the duration necessary to cook a turkey.

I'm using the microwave because I can't afford to turn on the stove. So how will I prepare Christmas supper for my son and me?" she asks.

You would be better off purchasing an Indian takeout meal from Tesco and heating it up in the microwave.

Due to increased living expenses, she has also trimmed back her intentions for gifts.

"My kid and I have agreed that this year we'll acquire a stocking for each of us and stocking fillers because we can't afford anything else," she says

The pandemic has already adversely affected peoples' Christmas plans for the past two years.

Due to a coronavirus outbreak, there were severe limitations on household mixing in December 2020.

The following year, the Omicron variant's appearance did not result in limitations being placed on hospitality, but companies reported that customer trust in dining and drinking out suffered due to a flurry of cancellations and scaled-back celebrations in the weeks leading up to December 25.

Since this is the busiest time of the year for many retail and hotel businesses, they will have been hoping for a return to normalcy.

Compared to other age groups, young individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 are much more likely to state that their spending plans will be lower than usual this year.

The majority of people in that age group—nearly three quarters—say they will spend less money on Christmas this year.

However, the majority of respondents (55%) claimed they had not been saving money in preparation for Christmas, suggesting that individuals may not necessarily be preparing for the big day.

Fewer people saved for vacations and social occasions like parties and nights out; two in five respondents who have set money away mostly want to spend it on presents and food and drink.

The cost of living increased by 10.1% in the year ending in September, which is the quickest rate in 40 years and is mostly due to high price increases in the cost of food and energy.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which interrupted production and exports and raised costs at supermarket checkouts, food and energy prices have been rising globally.

A Treasury spokeswoman said that the government has reduced National Insurance increases and made adjustments to assist those receiving universal credit.

"Putin's illegitimate conflict in Ukraine is forcing countries throughout the world to bear increased costs, and we know this is harming people here in the UK," he said.

Due to the Energy Price Guarantee and additional cost-of-living assistance of at least £1,200 given to eight million of the most disadvantaged households, we have taken decisive action to keep costs down this winter.


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