Surviving the cuts
A lot of people are going to be struggling because of government cuts. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, will keep benefit rises to 1% for three years from next April. This will hit a lot of people and save the government a couple of billion a year. That’s a lot of money. Not as much as the 12 billions the Olympics cost, but still a lot of money.
In fact over the three years they will save more than 6 billions, still not as much as the Olympics cost…
If inflation takes off next year, we could see prices going up 5% and benefits and tax credits only going up 1%. That bag of potatoes or loaf of bread that costs a pound now, could be 15 pence more by 2017 when your benefit rises will have amounted to just over 3 pence in the pound. We have already seen essentials like bus and rail fares, gas and electricity and food prices increase. That trend is likely to continue. In Birmingham people on Council tax benefit have been told they will have their council tax benefits cut by around £200 a year. If you have a spare room, your housing benefit could be cut too.
It seems likely that people just won’t be able to pay some bills and many people aren’t paying their council tax now. Will you give up and take out a payday loan or will you cut down and make the most of it?
If you have debts, you might be able to take action as opposed to burying your head in the sand. By taking out a loan with Zopa, you might be able to pay off bank loans and credit cards; but only if you have a good credit rating. You should look at Zopa while your credit rating is good and before your debts are out of control. Then cut back drastically to stop yourself getting into too much debt again.
A balance transfer to another credit card might be a good idea. Most balance transfer deals require you to pay a fee of around 3%. There is a Barclaycard one with no fee and allows you to transfer your balance and pay a 4.9% interest rate on the balance for three years. You can also avoid interest on new purchases for 6 months, that might give you a breathing space to get you finances in order; especially if you just spent a bit too much at Christmas.
The main thing is to think about next year now, 2014 will be the start of many of the bigger cuts for the poorest in society. Don’t fall for the strivers versus skivers propaganda, spewed out by the government and it’s fascist supporters. People who work or are on benefits are likely to be worse off and the rich and highly paid will be better off. We don’t want a society, where we start picking on the mentally ill or the disabled because they can’t work. We don’t want them locked away where they can’t be seen either. The days of the lunatic asylum and the workhouse belongs in the 19th century with the Victorian work ethic that the Tories love so much; as long as it’s not them who have to do the work.
I will be bringing you tips on saving money and making money over the next year and the sooner you start to save money the better. Start shopping around now, give up bad habits like smoking, cut alcohol, boycott the ‘posh’ shops and pay off debts. Cancel the newspaper and the glossy magazines too. The newspapers stir up hatred against the poor and the magazines just try to sell you stuff that you don’t need. Make 2013 a year when you protest against the rich. Stop buying luxuries, stop taking out pay-day loans, stop smoking, start saving and start growing your own vegetables.
If you bury your head in the sand; you will have to go without in 2014.