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‘Homeowners put booze and breaks before basic safety’

Britain’s hard-up homeowners are choosing to spend what limited spare cash they do have on life’s little luxuries while scrimping on safety – potentially putting themselves and their families in danger.

A new study carried out by WaterSafe, the national plumbing assurance scheme, reveals that, despite the economic revival, 87 per cent of Brits still have less disposable income than five years ago – on average £222 less a month.

Not surprisingly then, two-thirds (68 per cent) say that they’ve had no choice but to put vital maintenance on the backburner for at least a year. One in ten (12 per cent) haven’t had any done work on their home since 2010.

More worrying still, half of respondents say that they would put off fixing any faulty work within the home – such as a major plumbing problem – for as long as possible, because of the cost involved.

In stark contrast, however, it seems cash-strapped consumers are still able to maintain their creature comforts. When it comes payday priorities, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of homeowners think it is important to use any spare money to treat themselves rather than investing in home repairs.

Shockingly, well over one-third (39 per cent) would rather splash any cash set aside for the home on holidaying; 29 per cent would prefer to use it on eating out, and 24 per cent would splash the cash on beauty treats.

Homeowners admitted that their top 10 financial priorities for spending any spare cash are:
Going on holiday
Eating out
Beauty/pampering treatments
Going to the pub
Buying new clothes
Getting a new car
Cigarettes and alcohol
Presents for family and friends
Entertainment products

Julie Spinks from WaterSafe says: “Our survey results are very concerning. As the economy gradually picks up, it is easy to see why homeowners would prefer to spend their limited spare cash on treating themselves. However, safety in the home and addressing essential maintenance should be a priority and cannot be compromised.

“If a plumbing issue, for example, is left unattended, homeowners run the risk of unsafe water – posing a danger to their family – and the issue could escalate, leading to thousands of pounds in essential repair work.

“Our message is simple: always address any plumbing issues straight away by calling in a professional plumber who is properly qualified and registered with WaterSafe.”

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