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UK families ’11 days from the breadline’

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Working families are just 11 days from being forced to rely on state benefits or ask friends and family for financial help, a report has found.

According to Legal & General’s latest Deadline to the Breadline Report, the average working age family will able to financially cope for just 11 days if they lost their usual source of income, before being forced to turn to the Government and friends and family for financial support.

With over 65s included, the overall average deadline is still only 26 days.

However, the number of days a family can financially cope has increased by eight days in the past six months – from 18 to 26 days.

This improvement is largely due to more people having some disposable income to save at the end of each month, with the recovery in the economy and the jobs market gathering pace, the report found.

However, while the improvement is good news, many remain in a precarious situation were they to lose their usual sources of income.

On average, UK households estimate that they could get by on their savings for 72 days – almost three times what the Legal & General figures show.

John Pollock from Legal & General said: “It’s encouraging to see that the effects of the economic recovery are starting to trickle down to ordinary households. However, it serves as a stark reality check to see that most of us are still in a precarious financial situation – the average working age family is just 11 days away from the breadline.”

The report found that households in London have the longest average deadline (79 days) due to a dramatic increase in median savings in the capital over the past six months. The North East has the shortest deadline along with Wales.

Household members over 65 have the longest deadline (275 days) – which is 265 days longer than 18-24 year olds.

This gap has widened sharply in the past six months following double digit employment growth for over 65s, the report concluded.

Pollock added: “The employment market has strengthened, especially for over 65s as many are delaying retirement. However, earnings are still struggling to keep up with the cost of living, which is keeping many families under a lot of financial pressure.”

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