Hard-up Britons raid their piggy banks

SAVERS are being forced to tap into their nest eggs as they struggle to make ends meet.

The level of savings people have set aside fell by an average of 14 per cent during the three months to the end of September, the equivalent of a 279 reduction to 1,771, according to savings provider ING Direct. It said the amount people had in deposit accounts was at its lowest level since it began collecting the data in January 2009, while a quarter of people did not have any savings at all.

James Knightley, of ING, said: "This report highlights how pressured household finances are.

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"With the cost of living rising faster than incomes, people are having to make tough decisions on their lifestyles relative to their debts and savings. For now, they are choosing to pay down debts and continue to spend at the expense of their savings."