Home Business News Reducing energy costs sits top of the nation’s financial manifesto

Reducing energy costs sits top of the nation’s financial manifesto

by LLB political Reporter
13th Jun 24 8:42 am

As party manifestos are launched this week, new research by financial advice firm St. James’s Place (SJP) highlights the biggest financial issues the nation wants an incoming Government to address.

Short term issues dominate the top 10 financial priorities with limiting energy costs (38%), lowering inflation (31%) and providing more cost of living support (30%) being the main three concerns people want tackled.

Other priorities focus on longer-term issues, with a quarter (24%) hoping that whichever party forms the new government will take action to reduce long term care costs, and 1 in 5 (18%) wanting to see an increase in housing supply.

Meanwhile a similar percentage are calling for help with saving for a comfortable retirement (18%).

Unsurprisingly, there are generational differences, with long-term care costs emerging as a priority issue for nearly 4 in 10 individuals aged over 55 (37%).  Energy cost reduction is also a more significant concern for this age group (44%), compared to just 27% of 18-34 year-olds who want to see action on this. Meanwhile, additional cost-of-living support is a priority for over a third (35%) of the “squeezed middle” those aged 35-54, who are often supporting younger and older family members. Getting onto the housing ladder is a concern for 1 in 5 (22%) 18-34 year olds.

The top 10 financial priorities, outlined in SJP’s research, conducted among 8,000 adults across the UK, are as follows:

Changes in Government, policy, and the economy prompt many to seek financial advice or guidance

The research also underscores the role of financial advice and guidance in supporting individuals during political and economic changes, whether through professional advice and wealth management firms, or organizations like Citizens Advice Bureau, Moneyhelper, and Pension Wise.

Overall, 1 in 5 (21%) individuals report seeking financial advice or guidance due to changes in Government, policy, or the economy, with a further 18% due to the cost of living.

While broader life events drive individuals who pay for ongoing financial advice through a wealth manager, Independent Financial Adviser, or qualified financial planner to seek out advice, 1 in 4 (24%) still say they chose to engage a financial adviser due to changes in Government, policy, or economic reasons.

This figure increases to 39% for those accessing free financial guidance through organizations such as Citizens Advice Bureau, Moneyhelper, and Pension Wise.

Alexandra Loydon, Director of Engagement and Consultancy at St. James’s Place, said, “Following the challenging economic environment of the last few years, with household finances suffering due to higher energy bills, the sharp rise in mortgage repayments, and increased living costs, UK adults would most like to see Government support for everyday expenses.

“While there are a number of longer-term financial issues that people would like to address, whichever party gains power in July will need to consider balancing this with assistance for short-term demands too.

“The study also highlights the role of advice at times of change. The research highlights just how many people have been seeking advice in all forms through the cost of living crisis but also its importance for people from all walks of life when there are changes in policy, the economy, or Government.”

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