AS the Chancellor prepares to reveal the Government’s budget plans on Wednesday (19th March), mums across the South West have revealed that help with rising energy and utility bills is their number one Budget ask.

Asda’s latest Mumdex report – a quarterly poll of 6,000 mums – shows that as families across the UK see their budgets squeezed by escalating gas and electricity bills, more than half in the South West (56%) want to see more pressure on the energy and utility companies to reduce bills.

Help with bills was mums’ number one ask last year also[i], suggesting that not enough is being done to tackle the problem of rising energy costs.

According to the latest Mumdex report released today (Sunday 16th March), more than a quarter of South West mums are also calling on the Government to increase the personal tax allowance, and 28%, many of whom are carers, would like to see greater investment into the NHS.

Andy Clarke, President and CEO of Asda, said: “Given all the possible things consumers could ask for help with, it’s telling that for the second year running energy and utility bills remain the key concern. The Government’s recent decision to freeze fuel duty was a welcome step but more clearly needs to be done to pressure energy companies into stabilising household bills.

“The Asda Mumdex reveals the extent of fears about the rising cost of living. While the UK economy appears to be improving, these benefits are yet to be felt by families across the country.

"To help alleviate some of this pressure, I’d therefore encourage the Chancellor to indicate a plan to increase the Personal Tax Allowance to £12,875 - in line with a full-time salary on the National Minimum Wage – a move that would provide an immediate boost to both the pockets and confidence of UK households.”

While the UK waits for the outcome of this year’s Budget, the Mumdex shows that mums in the South West will stop at nothing to make their budgets, which have been dented by increasing costs, stretch further, giving rise to a generation of mumtrepeneurs. Twice as many young mums – those under 30 – are starting their own business today, than any other age group; with one in five now taking the leap and setting up a business from their own homes.

The report also shows that:

• 54% of SW mums are selling unwanted possessions online to bump up their earnings

• 28% are turning to car boot sales

• 16% are demanding extra hours to boost their income

• 68% believe the amount of personal income before paying tax should be increased

• 28% think their children will have to move from their home region to get the best job available to them

• More than half think the economy is showing the first signs of improvement, but most people are not yet feeling the improvements

• More than half cite an increase in affordable housing as one of their top asks of the government

While a majority of mums (60% nationally, and 64% in the South West) agree the UK has started on the road to recovery, the latest Mumdex report reveals that this is yet to be felt in their day-to-day lives, with 84% still concerned about the rising cost of living.

And the under 30s are feeling the most pressure, with two in five mums now saying that unaffordable house prices has prevented them from moving home, as they struggle to save enough money for a deposit while juggling childcare with work, and rising rent prices.

A full copy of the report is available here: