SHOPPERS in Solihull are feeling the pinch in the run-up to Christmas.
Last Thursday we hit the streets to ask whether the recession was having an impact on their celebrations.
Pensioner David Abraham, aged 71, from Solihull, said: “It does really - you cut down on most things.
“My being a pensioner I find it really trying. You’ve got to sort your electricity and gas and it’s not going down.
“Pensioners will find it hard to make ends meet. My pension is £157 and that’s what you are supposed to live on.”
Jo Handford, aged 35, from Bromsgove was shopping in Solihull. She said: “We’re trying to stick to a bit of a tight budget and not be to extravagant.”
Shirley Taylor, aged 65, from Solihull, said: “We’ve just retired. The pensions are not as good.
“We have to budget this year and we have not done that before. We’re concerned our money might be needed for our children with the job situation too.”
But in contrast soldier Steven Cullen, aged 25, from Birmingham, said: “It hasn’t really affected me.
“I’m in the Army and on leave. I live on barracks and all the wages are for me. I suppose for people with families it’s going to affect them.”
Raj Sura, aged 31, from Solihull, was also cutting back this year. He said: “I’m just buying for immediate family this year.”
Trader Mary Sabry from Azerbaijan, who runs the Mount Himalayas Tea stall in Mell Square, said: “It’s quiet, there’s no Christmas atmosphere.”
Fellow stallholder David Graham added: “I’ve never seen so many people not smiling - it looks a really unhappy place to be.”
Simon Vaughan from Solihull at the German sausage bar said: “I think it’s been on a par to previous years.
“Last year we had the bad snow and that had a serious effect; the year before it was dry but very cold.
There’s a lot of people about but not necessarily spending. On Saturday and Sunday it’s very busy. Last week we hung on til 9pm for the late shopping but it wasn’t worth it.”