Two out of three workers have suffered a pay freeze in recent years, with around one in six had received no wage increase for at least three years. Only one in three are expecting a pay rise in 2012. Those believing they will get a rise predicted it would average only 2.1%, well below the rate of inflation.
Three out of four of those questioned said they were worried about the rising cost of living, including higher household bills. More than half said they will have to "severely rein in" their spending, while a fifth believed they would have to take a second job or increase their working hours.
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, said: "After a difficult 2011 which saw the cost of living rocket, savings rates stuck at rock bottom and pay frozen, Brits are preparing themselves for another tough year. While the cost of living continues to rise, pay isn't keeping up, which means that workers are seeing their disposable income drain away. Further pay freezes in 2012 could push many consumers over the edge. In the face of another tough year, those who plan to severely rein in their spending have hit the nail on the head - this year more than ever people will have to watch their spending and cut back where they can."