The pandemic has only widened inequalities - see just how much
Inequalities worsened during the pandemic and are cutting deeper than ever. Those in stable employment and on higher incomes were able to save up and pay off debts while locked down. Meanwhile, amongst those in more precarious positions, many now find themselves facing poverty. Add to this inflation at a 30-year high and the ramifications are dire.
The light at the end of the tunnel is switched off
More likely to be terrified by their finances, this constant concern – including the issue of being able to afford the basics - is exhausting and prohibits those on lower incomes from seeking solutions. This results in a fatalistic and ruinous approach to life
Weighed down by very immediate, practical concerns – life is more about simply existing, and things feel ‘on a knife-edge’. After a relentless couple of years of insecurity and inflation - all against the backdrop of the pandemic - further challenges have pushed people to breaking point. This is very apparent in the escalation of depression and mental health issues
Low-income families – with ‘less money to throw at problems’ - say that the impact of the pandemic has been worse for their children than themselves. With fewer catch-up tools available and no financial buffer to roll up missed experiences, these families are deeply concerned about their kids' development. One consequence of this is potentially that the gap will grow and produce the least equal generation seen for many years
Consumed by pain today, those on low incomes find it difficult to prepare for future inflationary pressures and are left very vulnerable to increases in bills. The irresistible desire for pick-me-ups such as takeaways and bargain deals, spells for even further trouble ahead
In contrast, those who can keep an eye on the future are better equipped to play it safe. Feeling informed and experienced, these groups are currently spending cautiously and not eating into savings – likely leading to the undesired consequence of stagflation
Not looking like much hope in sight
Unsurprisingly, poorer families are already deploying more tactics to save money – another reason why they feel less able to absorb inflationary increases. With less room to cut back and measures already in place it’s easy to see why this group is worried sick.
They’ve taken many mitigating actions yet still feel increasingly like they’re swimming against the tide – and now turn to extreme measures like borrowing from F&F and, more worryingly, gambling. Depressingly, some say they’ve ‘simply giving up’.
For those who haven't given up, especially in younger groups, life will be looked at differently - potentially giving rise to different approaches to housing and further education.
How to win?
With low-income groups' trust in establishments depleted, brands can help consumers feel like they’re not in it alone – with clear, direct and relatable messaging likely to work well. In a world where ‘more of the same’ doesn’t equal a great life, a bit of hope would be welcome