Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 0°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: The true cost of living in the East

13:00 05 December 2012

Dr Wil Gibson, Suffolk Acre

Dr Wil Gibson, Suffolk Acre

PAUL J COGHLIN

HOUSEHOLDS in the East of England are having to spend more than the national average just to keep on top of bills.

A new report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that it is much more expensive to live in East Anglia than it is to run a household in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, East and West Midlands and the South West.

The ONS Family Spending 2012 survey of thousands of households found that the average weekly expenditure in the East over the period 2009-2011 was £497.10 compared against national monthly outgoings of £477.50.

The biggest weekly expenditure is on transport (£68.70 each week) which is £5 above the national average, followed by recreation and culture (£65.30) and then housing, fuel and power (£59.20).

Dr Wil Gibson of Suffolk ACRE, a charitable organisation aimed at improving quality of life for people living in rural communities, said he was particularly aware of the rising cost of public transport and fuel.

He said that due to the rural nature of large parts of Suffolk, even buying groceries or getting a plumber to come out for a simple job would cost more due to travel and time costs.

He said: “Fuel and power - that’s quite understandable because we have got costs going up but we also have a significant number of households in Suffolk that are not on the mains grid for gas so are heated by and cook with oil.”

He also said that many properties across Suffolk, because of their age, were not well insulated and therefore often more expensive to heat and maintain.

He added: “The figures show that the emphasis is on putting petrol in the car, heating the home and buying household goods - the costs are passed on and are increasing.

“We have people, even in what you would consider a decent income for retirement, who are still having difficulty budgeting because the heating costs are so high.

“The spending on recreational activities surprised me - I wonder if, as in the depression in the 1930s, a lot more people are going to the movies? Every now and then you need a treat and a release because the economic news isn’t getting any better - it’s fairly stagnant and has been for three years.”

As well as giving a three year average, the report also breaks down the nation’s average household spending year-by-year.

Households typically spent £10 a week more on their regular outgoings in 2011 compared with 2010.

The report shows how people have cut back their spending on new cars, clothing and furniture as costs for other “vital” outgoings such as rent and household fuels have increased.

Giles Horsfield, editor of the ONS report, said: “The figures reflect the increase in the price of petrol and diesel in 2011. For a lot of households, that kind of expenditure is considered essential.

“There was increased spending on some items which people considered vital and spending went down in areas where people felt they had a bit of discretion.”

0 comments

Friars Hall Nursing Home in Hadleigh has been ranked inadequate by inspectors.

A criminal investigation has been launched by police into a failing care home in Hadleigh at which a resident died.

On-call firefighters complete their training at RAF Wattisham.

A lorry has burst into flames following a crash with a car on the A14 westbound in Suffolk close to Needham Market.

The scene of the armed robbery outside the Halifax branch in The Newlands shopping centre in Witham. Pic: Nigel Brown.

Two serial armed robbers who raided banks in Witham and Great Dunmow received a warning today they could face life sentences.

Old Alderman Blaxhill School. Now The Stanway Federation Learning Centre.

Outline plans for a new 900 pupil secondary school in Colchester have been given the green light by Essex County Council.

Food inspectors (stock image).  Picture by Simon Finlay

Urgent improvements have been demanded of three food businesses in east Suffolk, according to hygiene inspection reports.

A person has died and another is seriously injured after an 'explosion in a boiler room' of a ship

A crewman has died after a boiler backfired in the engine room of the Manhattan Bridge container ship as it was docking at Felixstowe port last night – causing an “explosion”.

Cats Protection has said its staff will always carry ID when collecting cats.

Animal welfare charities in Suffolk have urged caution over who found pets are given to after reports of a woman in Ipswich posing as an animal welfare officer to obtain a cat found by a homeowner in their garden.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24