We’re just one year away from a general election, which means the baby-kissing and flesh-pressing starts in earnest now. For those who really can’t wait, there’s all the thrills and spills of the forthcoming European elections and the Scottish independence vote to look forward to.
The so-called ‘squeezed middle’ is a particular demographic that the political parties will be making doe eyes at and imploring, heartfelt gestures in the direction of, not dissimilar to those made by the Backstreet Boys in the epochal video to ‘I’ll Never Break Your Heart’. It’s a sizeable chunk of the population, and one which hasn’t had a particularly great time of the recessionary era.
But who exactly belongs to the squeezed middle? It really depends on who you ask. Does it include the young, just-marrried teachers struggling to cobble together a deposit for a mortgage? The freelancer chasing yet another six-month overdue invoice from a client? The worker in the local council’s finance department ‘enjoying’ a 1% annual pay increase? It's probably a 'yes' to all of the above.
Well, one source with an interesting take on who might belong to this group is the Daily Telegraph. In order to take the temperature of this much put-upon demographic earlier this week, the paper spoke to a family whose patriarch earns around £120,000 a year and sends both sons to an expensive private boarding school. Consider the Money Shot’s eyebrow raised to a quizzical half-mast.
“Even though we have a reasonable income we have had to economise, swapping Ocado deliveries for trips to Tesco, never changing our cars or going on city breaks,” lamented 53-year-old Guy Farhham. Somewhere, entirely coincidentally, the world’s smallest violin was heard being tuned up.
The Money Shot reckons that the venerable daily organ might be playing fast and loose with what it defines as ‘squeezed’ or, indeed, ‘middle’ here, but what do you think? Are you feeling particularly squeezed and stuck in the middle and, if so, who’s sharing the space with you? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.
Short change – Money News In Brief
Pothole-related car insurance claims have risen by as much as 750% in some areas after a winter of floods.
The base rate of interest was kept at 0.5% for the fifty-squillionth consecutive month, amidst talk of a rise in the not-too-distant future. Might it be time to fix your mortgage?
The pound reached a five-year high against some of the currencies of popular destinations.
That’s right – print and play along this Saturday night with all your mates. It’s wunderbar!
On Covered mag this week
Emily Bater met someone who'd been given a payday loan at 17, and asked if financial education in schools is too little, too late.
Graham Thomas reported on the controversy surrounding what could end up being Europe’s biggest wind farm.
Since Gio Compario swapped singing for driving a bus, the great British public haven’t seen quite so much of the big-lunged comparison crooner on their TV screens.
So, on Tuesday evening the Money Shot was forced to do a double-take as it sat down with its tea of boiled beef and carrots when Belgium’s entry to the Eurovision semi-finals appeared on the telly...
Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.