Scrooges Or Just Skint? Why Brits Are Giving Less To Charity

One in four Brits believe they will donate less to charity this year than in 2016, research has revealed.

But it seems the people of Britain aren't Scrooges—rather, most said they simply can't afford to donate to charity as well as paying their own bills.

A survey commissioned by Cambridge & Counties Bank found that 24 percent of people think they will give less in 2017, and only 12 percent think they will give more.

Poverty UK
Artwork adorns the side of a house in the centre of Walsall, West Midlands on December 4, 2017. Brits are feeling the squeeze on incomes. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Some 39 percent of those surveyed said that falling disposable income made it harder to donate, while a further 36 percent said the rising cost of living was to blame, and 24 percent specified personal circumstances that resulted in a loss of money.

A fall in U.K. disposable income, driven primarily by rising inflation, was demonstrated in research published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the umbrella body for voluntary and community organisations, in February 2017.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an ongoing squeeze on the real value of wages has been felt most by those who earn median pay. In 2008, the median worker earned £24,500 adjusted to 2017 prices, whereas today the same worker earns £23,000.

Paul Winyard, Senior Policy Officer for Funding and Finance at NCVO, said: "A lack of growth in donations, or even a decline, is perhaps not surprising when you consider that people have not seen their incomes rise a great deal in recent years.

"There is little prospect of Britain achieving wage growth soon which, when combined with inflation at a five-year high, means disposable household income will continue to be squeezed, which might mean a reduction in the levels of donations charities receive."

Market research company Consumer Intelligence carried out the study on behalf of Cambridge & Counties bank, questioning 1,050 people on July 21, 2017, of which nearly half (47 percent) expected to donate around the same amount as last year.

Rachel Curtis-Bowen, Chief Customer Officer at Cambridge & Counties Bank said in a statement: "The cost of living for many people is rising and our research shows that for many this means they will be donating less to charities this year.

"Charities rely heavily on donations and if they see a drop here it could adversely affect the services and help they provide to millions of people."