This Is How Many Brits Became ‘Accidental Savers’ During The Pandemic

Photographed by Kieran Boswell
A new study has revealed another way in which Covid-19 has exacerbated inequality in the UK.
More than six million Brits have become "accidental savers" during the pandemic by keeping their jobs while cutting down on monthly outgoings, the report found.
According to the report by financial consultancy LCP, these accidental savers "tend to be on higher incomes". They have benefited especially from not having to pay to travel to and from work during lockdown.
However, the report also notes that "significant numbers of young people have also become accidental savers" during the UK's various lockdowns, mainly through "reduced expenditure on holidays and eating out".
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At the same time, it's important to recognise that huge numbers of young people have not been nearly so lucky. Official figures released this week reveal that under 25s have been hit hardest by rising unemployment during the pandemic.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 726,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment in January 2021 than in February 2020. Some 425,000 – or nearly 60% – of these people are under 25 years of age.
Meanwhile, the UK's student population is currently in the midst of an unjustifiable financial crisis. Many are being forced to shell out for costly university rooms that they cannot even live in, and which in some cases are inadequate.
In response to the report's findings, Heidi Allan of LCP said that the UK's super-fortunate "accidental savers" now have a unique and expected opportunity to improve their personal financial situation.
"This is an opportunity for them to put their personal finances on a firmer footing by reducing debt and increasing saving," she said. "Employers will have a key part to play in ensuring that workers take advantage of this opportunity and do not simply allow these increased balances to sit in current accounts and gradually drift away."

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