Economy  

New King seeking answers to the cost of living crisis

New King seeking answers to the cost of living crisis
Photo: FT Fotoware

King Charles III is already paying close attention to the "challenging times" facing Britain amid the cost of living crisis as he prepares for the coronation next year. 

In his speech to the nation on Friday, he said: "It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply.

"But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others."

His charities have gone quiet over the period of mourning for HM The Queen but it is understood the King has shown keen interest in helping to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Earlier this year, research from Learning and Work Institute and The Prince’s Trust, supported by HSBC UK, revealed the barriers facing unemployed, and rising numbers of economically inactive, young people across the UK.

The Prince's Trust cited analysis of labour market data, which showed the proportion of out of work young people reporting a mental health problem has increased from 11 per cent in 2011 to almost a third (30 per cent) in 2022.

Also, over the past few months, the King has spent time visiting farmers in Wales and elsewhere, as well as talking with the various charities that bear his name to discuss the difficulties and challenges that lie ahead as Britain's cost of living crisis deepens.

And the Queen's Speech to parliament earlier this year, which King Charles read in his mother's stead, specifically highlighted the financial plight of ordinary Britons as a priority for this government to tackle.

At the time, he acknowledged the nation's financial mood amid these "challenging times".

He said: "Her Majesty's government's priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and ease the cost of living for families... to improve living standards ... reducing debt while cutting taxes and to [support] the Bank of England to return inflation to its target."

As the government under new Prime Minister Liz Truss starts to set out its plan to tackle the rising cost of living in Britain, data from Natixis Investment Manager's global retirement index highlights how problematic the nation's finances are.

According to the GRI, 2022 could be the "most challenging year to retire in recent history", as the economic environment affects people's pension savings negatively.

The GRI showed that for 2022 the UK ranks:

  • 19th out of all countries for retirement security - down from 18 in 2021.
  • 29th for Finances in Retirement
  • 21st for Health (compared to 18th in 2021, and 19th in 2012)
  • 7th for Quality of Life (7th in 2021; 6th in 2012)
  • 23rd for Material Wellbeing (compared to 22nd in 2021; and 27th in 2012)

Natixis' head of northern Europe, Andrew Benton, commented: "Success will require a concerted effort from not only policy makers, but employers, the financial services industry, and individuals. It all starts with understanding the risks."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com