Millions of families will spend less on Christmas gifts as the cost of living crisis rages

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More than half of Britons say they are likely to spend less on Christmas this year as the country grapples with the cost of living crisis, a new poll revealed on Tuesday.

The Ipsos survey for The Standard found that 37% of adults nationwide are “very likely” to spend less money this holiday season than they normally would, with a further 20% saying they are “quite likely” to do so.

Of this 57%:

  • Three-quarters (78%) said they were likely to reduce their spending on Christmas gifts.
  • 4% cited Christmas decorations/festive lights.
  • Just under half (48%) said they went to Christmas parties.
  • 44% mentioned food on Christmas Day and 38% mentioned drinks.
  • A third (34%) visit relatives or friends.

Overall, just 21% said they were “unlikely” to spend less this Christmas.

Gideon Skinner, head of policy research at Ipsos UK, said: “The lack of a political honeymoon for Liz Truss is likely linked to the lack of an economic honeymoon as she begins as Prime Minister.

“Economic optimism remains low, and as the cost of living continues to top voters’ agendas, many predict they will also have to cut back at Christmas – especially women, the middle-aged, mortgage holders and tenants.”

The poll showed women are more likely to say they will spend less this Christmas than men, 62% versus 52%, as are renters and mortgage holders (60% and 62%) more than those who own their own home (49 percent).

Middle-aged people are also more likely than older or younger people to intend to cut back on holiday spending (67% of 35-54 year olds, compared to 56% of 18-34 year olds and half of 55 and over).

Millions of families are facing financial crisis, despite the government’s £60billion energy price guarantee aimed at capping annual gas and electricity costs at £2,500 for the typical household , and the support of £400 on the bills they will receive under the previous plans.

Many also face the threat of spiraling mortgage or rent payments, as well as inflation of around 10%.

As many cut back on spending, the hospitality sector, high street and other stores are facing a decline in trade.

Dame Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis, stressed over the weekend that retailers needed to “get into this cost of living crisis” to help families have an “affordable, better value” Christmas.

Seven in ten adults (71%) expect the country’s general economic situation to deteriorate over the next year, with only 15% believing it will improve, giving an index of economic optimism net of -56 in September, compared to -53 in July.

Ipsos surveyed 1,000 adults by telephone across Britain between September 7 and September 15, ahead of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini budget’. The data is weighted.

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