The nation will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II from tomorrow (Thursday) with a four-day bank holiday weekend so we thought it might be interesting to compare the financial situation in the 70 years between then and now.
Her Majesty actually ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 but did not wish to celebrate her jubilee on the date of the death of her father, King George VI, which is why our celebrations are starting on June 2, to tie in with the Coronation on that date in 1953.
So how do the two compare? Back then the nation was beginning to emerge from the effects of World War Two and there were signs of prosperity returning.
Some 25 per cent of the population owned a television set – in fact, many went out and bought one so they could watch the Coronation, with an estimated 20million viewers watching it at home on their sets or those of friends and family.
Inflation in 1953 was at 3.05 per cent – in April 2022 it broached nine per cent, a 40 year high and is forecast to reach 10 per cent by this autumn.
That means that in 1953, £100 was worth an equivalent in buying power of £2,975 in today’s money!
A pound today only buys 3.361 per cent of what it could buy back then.
More than two thirds of the nation rented their homes in 1953, but for those who wanted to buy, the average house price was £2,750. These days, as of January 2022, the average house price was approximately £274,000 British pounds, up from £250,000 in 2021.
People were mostly paid weekly back in 1953 and an average worker took home £9.25 a week, but they paid 47.5 per cent basic income tax on it and worked an average of just shy of 45 hours.
Today, we tend to work fewer hours on average and the average annual salary according to HMRC and the ONS is estimated at £24,600.
In other comparisons, the rationing of sugar and sweets ended in 1953, but sadly then as now there was still conflict, with the Korean War ending at the cost of some 1,100 British lives, plus there was conflict in Kenya and British Guiana.
Then as now, people were working hard to keep up with the cost of living, to save and to invest in their futures – nothing has changed there.
If we can help you manage your investments, pensions or assist with wills, estate administration, mortgage advice or any other financial affairs, please do get in touch.
And a happy 70th anniversary Your Majesty!