Average British family faces a decline of £300 per year in spending power

In the build-up to the pre-Budget report this Wednesday, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) says the typical British family already faces a decline of 2.4 per cent, or £300 a year, in its discretionary spending power, after tax, mortgages, food and other essentials.

The best-off will see their spending power cut by as much as nine per cent, almost £5,000 a year, the most vicious assault on their living standards in three decades.

The impact of swingeing income tax and national insurance hikes, VAT increases, expected moves back to more normal mortgage rates and higher petrol and transport costs, thanks to the latest boom in world oil prices, will all conspire to devastate the household budgets of the better-off.