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Broadband is last spending cut for 10.3m British households


Pulling the plug on home broadband is the last spending cut Brits would be willing to make in order to economise, according to new research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.

More than nine out of ten Brits surveyed (93.3%) would not be willing to give up their broadband connection in a bid to save money, up from 81% in 2009. With 44% of all households in the UK having a broadband connection (source: ONS)*, an estimated 10.3m households are not prepared to live without high speed internet.

The findings are part of a UK-wide survey conducted by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank that asked which luxuries and non-essentials people would not be prepared to do without if they had to cut back on their expenditure. The list also included holidays, nights out, gym memberships and branded products.

Whilst people look more likely to give up on family holidays in order to cut spending (-9.8%) this is partly offset by fewer people being likely to give up weekend breaks (up 2.2%). The number of people unwilling to substitute their favourite brands is up slightly by 0.6%; the only other area of spending that saw an increase from last year.

The most significant change in attitude to monthly outgoings compared with last year was in relation to sports and gym memberships. Paying to keep fit has fallen from people's list of priorities; with just over a third of those questioned (37.5%) not willing to give up their regular fitness regime, compare to 60% in 2009.

Magazines and newspapers, as well as nights out at restaurants, bars, theatre and cinema are also more likely to face cuts, with the number of Brits who would be willing to forego this type of spend increasing over the past 12 months.

Type of spend % not willing to give up - 2010 % not willing to give up - 2009 % difference
Broadband 93.3% 81% +12.3%
Cable / Satellite TV 62.2% 67% -4.8%
Holidays in the UK 60.6% 65% -4.4%
Holidays abroad 52.2% 62% -9.8%
Weekend breaks 58.2% 56% 2.2%
Magazines & Newspapers 50.3% 60% -9.7%
Nights out at cinema, theatre, concerts 44.2% 51% -6.8%
Take-aways 42.6% 43% -0.4%
Favourite branded products 37.6% 37% +0.6%
Nights out restaurants & bars 41.5% 54% -12.5%
Downloads of music or movies 29.5% 51% -21.5%
Sports or gym memberships 37.5% 60% -22.5%

Steve Fletcher, Head of Retail Banking for Yorkshire Bank, said: "We all review our spending priorities throughout our lives and will forego some things in order that we can have and enjoy those which are most important to us."

"Broadband internet access has clearly become a priority for those homes that have it. The increasing use of broadband for our entertainment; downloading music, viewing film and TB and linking to games consoles, shows a shift in lifestyles generally but is also a possible reflection of cuts in spending on entertainment away from the home."

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