Friday, January 20, 2012

doom and gloom

Around six million households would be unable to survive for more than five days if they stopped being paid, such are the low levels of savings among Britons, research shows.

One in three UK households have less than £250 in accessible savings. A fifth of all households have no savings at all.

£250 is the equivalent of three days’ average monthly household take-home pay. With average monthly outgoing currently at £1,536, these savings would last just five days.

Bruno Genovese, head of savings at First Direct, said: “ the current climate of uncertainty, it is of utmost importance that families are setting aside a realistic sum of money to be used in emergencies.” He said that as a “general rule”, it is advisable to have three months’ salary set aside in accessible savings for a rainy day.

They do say that every society is only three meals away from revolution. Or in the case of the Daily Mail it is 9 meals.

The scenario goes like this. Imagine a sudden shutdown of oil supplies; a sudden collapse in the petrol that streams steadily through the pumps and so into the engines of the lorries which deliver our food around the country, stocking up the supermarket shelves as soon as any item runs out. If the trucks stopped moving, we'd start to worry and we'd head out to the shops, cking up our larders. By the end of Day One, if there was still no petrol, the shelves would be looking pretty thin. Imagine, then, Day Two: your fourth, fifth and sixth meal. We'd be in a panic. Day three: still no petrol. What then? With hunger pangs kicking in, and no notion of how long it might take for the supermarkets to restock, how long before those who hadn't stocked up began stealing from their neighbours? Or looting what they could get their hands on? During the fuel protests of September 2000, we caught a glimpse of how even the supply of basic foodstuffs are dependent on oil: Justin King, the CEO of Sainsbury, warned Blair that we would be 'out of food' within 'days not weeks' if the protests continued.

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