In case you've been in hibernation lately the political ground has been occupied somewhat by talk of the standard of living. It seems that most people are worse off , which is of course a concern, even if it is necessary to heal the economy. If people are telling the truth then why are they spending billions on the High Street , propping up our retail sector ? If you don't have it don't spend it !
Aha , I hear you reply - they are buying bargains look at the stupendous reductions , up to 75% off . Indeed so , but they have now spent 25% more than zero had they exercised restraint.
In my eyes there are possible reasons that immediately spring to mind:
1. It is comfort spending , a bit like tearing into a bar of chocolate when you're feeling down
2. People have no self control and are at the mercy of the ad-men
3. They are lying to the opinion pollsters about their true financial position