Here's some interesting advice from the deputy governor of the Bank of England, Charles Bean, as reported by the Daily Telegraph:

"Savers shouldn't necessarily expect to be able to live just off their income in times when interest rates are low. It may make sense for them to eat into their capital a bit.

"Very often older households have actually benefited from the fact that they've seen capital gains on their houses."

New Zealand's own deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, Grant Spencer, was much less inflammatory in his recent public comments, merely implying that official interest rates would probably stay low for a while.

"Going forward, medium term price stability will remain the primary objective of monetary policy," Spencer said. "However, we expect that monetary policy will have more bite over the next few years than it has had for many years; for a number of reasons."

And, going forward, the medium term will be a period of financial sobriety, according to Spencer.

"We believe that this diminished appetite for debt will remain for some time as people and companies work to gradually strengthen their financial positions," he said.

But as this NZ Herald poll reveals many people are struggling to strengthen their financial positions. You can see from many of the responses, too, that the reputation of New Zealand's savings industry has taken a huge hit over the last few years - no surprises there.

Looks like the Savings Working Group has got a big job on its hands.

But we can't all be saving. Perhaps Charlie Bean is right and all those people sitting on unearned capital gains from their houses should spend up large. Or have we done that already?