Britain’s hard-up homeowners are choosing to spend their limited spare cash on luxuries while scrimping on safety, according to a new study carried out by WaterSafe.

The study revealed that, despite the economic revival, 87% of Brits still have less disposable income than five years ago and are faced with an average of £222 less a month. As a result, 68% say they’ve had no choice but to put vital maintenance on the backburner for at least a year, while 12% haven’t had any done work on their home since 2010.

More worrying still, 50% of respondents admitted they would put off having any faulty work within the home fixed for as long as possible due to the cost involved.

In stark contrast, however, while cash-strapped consumers may be scrimping on safety in the home, it seems they are still able to maintain their creature comforts. When it comes payday priorities, 69% of homeowners think it is important to use any spare money to treat themselves rather than investing in home repairs. Thirty-nine percent would rather splash any cash set aside for the home on holidaying, a further 29% would prefer to use it on eating out and 24% would spend the money on beauty treats.

On a national level, those polled admitted that their top 10 financial priorities for spending any spare cash are:

  1. Going on holiday
  2. Eating out
  3. Beauty/Pampering treatments
  4. Going to the pub
  5. Buying new clothes
  6. Getting a new car
  7. Cigarettes and alcohol
  8. Presents for family and friends
  9. Chocolate
  10. Entertainment products.

“Our survey results are very concerning,” said WaterSafe’s Julie Spinks. “As the economy gradually picks up, it is easy to see why homeowners would prefer to spend their limited spare cash on treating themselves. However, safety in the home and addressing essential maintenance should be a priority and cannot be compromised.

“If a plumbing issue, for example, is left unattended, homeowners not only run the risk of unsafe water posing a danger to their family, but the issue could escalate, leading to thousands of pounds in essential repair work.

“Our message is simple: always address plumbing issues straightaway by calling in a professional plumber who is properly qualified and registered with WaterSafe.”