As the economy still continues to recover, new research shows that Britain’s enduringly hard-up homeowners are choosing to spend what limited spare cash they do have on life’s little luxuries while scrimping on safety – potentially putting themselves and their families in danger.
A new study carried out by WaterSafe, the national plumbing assurance scheme, reveals that, despite the economic revival, 87% of Brits still have less disposable income than five years ago and are faced with an average of £222 less a month.
Not surprisingly then, two thirds (68%) say that they’ve had no choice but to put vital maintenance on the backburner for at least a year while one in ten (12%) haven’t had any done work on their home since 2010.
More worrying still, half (50%) of respondents admitted that they would put off fixing any faulty work within the home – such as a major plumbing problem – for as long as possible due to the cost involved.
In stark contrast, however, while cash-strapped consumers may be scrimping back on safety in the home, it seems they are still able to maintain their creature comforts.
When it comes payday priorities, more than two thirds (69%) of homeowners think it is important to use any spare money to treat themselves rather than investing in home repairs. Shockingly, well over a third (39%) would rather splash any cash set aside for the home on holidaying, a further third (29%) would prefer to use it on eating out and a quarter (24%) would splash the cash on beauty treats.
Tellingly on a national level those polled admitted that their top ten financial priorities for spending any spare cash are:
• Going on holiday
• Eating out
• Beauty/pampering treatments
• Going to the pub
• Buying new clothes
• Getting a new car
• Cigarettes and alcohol
• Presents for family and friends
• Entertainment products
Julie Spinks, from WaterSafe, said:
“Our survey results are very concerning. As the economy gradually picks up, it is easy to see why homeowners would prefer to spend their limited spare cash on treating themselves. However, safety in the home and addressing essential maintenance should be a priority and cannot be compromised.
“If a plumbing issue, for example, is left unattended, homeowners not only run the risk of unsafe water posing a danger to their family but the issue could escalate, leading to thousands of pounds in essential repair work.
“Our message is simple; always address any plumbing issues straightaway by calling in a professional plumber who is properly qualified and registered with WaterSafe.”