Over a third of adults would rely on government support to bail them out, if they found themselves unemployed or unable to work due to accident or sickness.
Paymentshield and You Gov’s online survey of over 1,000 adults found that 41% of people currently in full time employment would expect to use Job Seekers Allowance to help cover their finances should they be unable to work for six months, despite it providing just £71 a week for over 25s. Under 25s are only entitled £56.25 per week.
While recent figures from the ONS showed the number of people not in work has decreased for the first time in months, the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance has risen to 1.6 million.
This comes as the government plans to make 70,000 jobseekers work unpaid for four weeks or lose their benefits for three months under an extension of the mandatory work activity programme.
“The employment landscape is still very unpredictable and people’s circumstances could change at any time,” said Tim Johnson, chief executive of Paymentshield.
“With increasingly restricted access to state benefits, adults should be looking at other long-term ways to protect their finances.”
However, the Paymentshield figures show that the working population is making little provision to protect their finances. For example, income protection appears to be a non-priority for most adults with only 7% of full time workers currently having income protection.
Johnson added: “Our research also highlights that British adults are finding it difficult to save, with very few being able to save more than fifty pounds a month.
“Against the background of the government trying to reduce its welfare bill, these figures highlight the need for consumers to seek financial advice about protecting their finances.”