Press Centre

Asda mums want to see a family friendly budget

Cost of utilities is mums’ number one concern, with 70% highlighting household bills as an area that has become less manageable over the past 12 months

  • Mums say the rising cost of living is now three times as pressing as youth unemployment and four times as pressing as violent crime, Asda Mumdex reveals
  • Ahead of next week’s Budget, over 60% of mums admit that they can’t currently afford to turn the heating on for as long as they need and one in two can’t afford to fully fill-up their car
  • As a result, 78% of mums say they want the government to help reduce the cost of utility bills and two-thirds would like the Chancellor to cancel the 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty planned for September
  • Research comes as Asda cuts the price of fuel by up to 3 pence-per-litre – meaning drivers filling up at any Asda fuel station in the UK will pay no more than 141.7ppl on Diesel and 134.7ppl on unleaded

Four in five mums would like the Government to prioritise the reduction of household utility bills in the forthcoming Budget, according to the latest Asda Mumdex report released today (Thursday 14th March).

With the Budget less than a week away and with three years of austerity behind them, mums are now saying that the Government should consider doing more to help with the rising cost of living. Two-thirds of mums surveyed by Asda would like the Government to focus on cancelling the 3p-a-litre rise in fuel duty planned for September, while one in two would like it to prioritise an increase in the personal tax allowance to give them more money in their pockets.

The Asda Mumdex – a panel of over 5,500 Asda mums of varying ages and backgrounds – revealed that mums now rate the cost of living as the most pressing issue in the UK, three times more important than youth unemployment and four times as pressing as violent crime. Eight in 10 mums also claim to have higher outgoings than last year, with 70% highlighting utility bills as an area that has become less manageable over the past 12 months.

The report, which is today celebrating its first anniversary, also revealed the lengths that mums are going to stretch their hard-earned cash – budgeting with military precision and making cuts across the board:

  • Six in 10 mums say they can no longer afford to turn the heating on for as long as they need
  • 50% of mums say they only part fill up their car to save money
  • Seven out of 10 mums say they are budgeting more now than they did a year ago and three quarters are regularly comparing product prices in supermarkets
  • Seven in 10 are spending less on family activities than 12 months ago
  • 55% of mums are saving less than they were a year ago and half dipped into their savings last year

Judith McKenna, chief operating officer at Asda said:

“Last year mums told us they were cutting luxuries. However, it’s no longer just about saving money on holidays or big–ticket items. Now it’s getting much more serious, with families having to forgo the very basics they need to survive, such as heating and transport.

“It’s no surprise that when we asked mums what they wanted the Chancellor to do in next week’s Budget, they focused on these basics – asking for help with reducing utility bills, freezing fuel duty and increasing the personal tax allowance.

“Our mums also told us that we have a role to play too. By continuing to keep the cost of essential items -like bread, eggs, milk and butter – down, we can help them keep more money in their pocket. So that’s what we are going to continue to do.”

With mums seeing very little sparkle in their day-to-day lives, it’s hardly surprising how pessimistic they are about the UK’s financial situation. Less than a third of mums believe that spending cuts are the right economic policy going forward, while one in two believe the UK economy will struggle to be the same again. 40% also now believe that their quality of life and spending power will never return to pre-recession levels.

Despite these financial concerns, however, food remains the final bastion the families are trying to protect, with mums fighting harder than ever to ensure their families are eating healthy. Seven out of 10, for instance, are cooking from scratch more frequently and a third have bought fewer ready meals in 2012 to economise.

Asda always aims to be the first retailer in each part of the country to drop fuel prices when oil costs are falling and the last to put them up when they rise. The latest cut (Wednesday), saw Asda reduce the price of fuel by up to 3 pence-per-litre on unleaded and 2 pence-per-litre on diesel. Asda is the only retailer to have a national price on fuel meaning that drivers filling up at any one of Asda’s 213 forecourts today will pay no more than 134.7 pence per litre for unleaded and 141.7 pence per litre for diesel.

Anne Longfield, OBE, Chief Executive of 4Children said:

“With Asda’s new Mumdex report saying that mums are now more worried about their finances than they are about violent crime it has never been clearer that families across the country are under real financial strain. The families we work with have been telling 4Children for some time that the combination of falling incomes and the rising cost of living is having a day to day impact on their family life. That is why we launched our Fair4Families campaign. Next week the Chancellor has an opportunity to listen to mums and dads and put families at the top of his Budget priority list.”

Posted in Press Centre on 15 March 2013