It seems that consumer finances have been squeezed as income has fallen more than ever since the start of the financial crisis.New research from a think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), shows that employees have had pay cuts of six per cent since 2008. This is the worst cut to wages since records began.The IFS explained that this is partly because smaller firms were reluctant to lay off workers but had to cut their wages as a result, while larger corporations kept wages but made employees redundant.This brings into question how consumers have been handling the cost of living despite taking home less pay.Indeed, Labour leader Ed Miliband accused prime minister David Cameron of ignoring a crisis in living standards.Meanwhile, Mr Cameron said that cuts in income tax and a freeze on council tax should help consumer finances.What consumers do need to ensure is that they do not turn to lending in order to tide themselves over. Particularly with short term loan agreements on the rise, they should ensure that they keep their debts in check.Amir HussainAmir specialises in personal loans, consumer debt and debt management.
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