The level of saving in Britain in the first quarter of this year was the lowest since records began in , according to figures published last week by the ONS.
Over those intervening 54 years the British, on average, have managed to save 9.2% of their income every year. However, last year taxes went up but people felt confident enough to keep on spending even with less money in their pocket.
As a result, in the first quarter, the savings ratio dropped to just 6.1%. The spending spree continued throughout last summer and by the final quarter of last year, savings had virtually halved again to 3.3%.
Then they halved again: in the first three months of this year it was an almost invisible 1.7%. It has been calculated that 16 million people in the UK have less than £100 to their name.