Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 29°C

min temp: 17°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

Traffic on the A14 is being diverted using the entrance and exit slip roads. Image: Keith Mindham

The A14 at Bury St Edmunds has reopened after a woman who was spotted on the wrong side of the bridge at junction 44 was talked down by officers.

Andrew Bloomfield took this photo of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fighting the fire in the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford.

A fire at the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford, has been extinguished.

Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, as staff poured from William Prettys works in the mid 1890s

The site of one of Ipswich’s major employers until the 1980s - Willaim Pretty’s - is now a car park, writes David Kindred.

The RNLI at Aldeburgh investigate an empty boat that turned up on Wednesday 24th August.

A yacht named after a lucky star had the good fortune of being rescued off the Suffolk coast today having drifted unmanned past Britain’s biggest container port.

Abellio Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles.

The average speed of trains between London and Ipswich will be cut to just over an hour in three years’ time – but the Ipswich in 60 ambition will depend on Network Rail carrying out improvement work.

Ronald King, 87, of Cedar Close, Walton-on-the-Naze

A pensioner who shot his 81-year-old wife dead at a care home has been sentenced to six years in a psychiatric hospital.

Aldeburgh beach was packed with people enjoying the sun on Wednesday 24th August.
L-R Chris and Jane Linford,Jan and Ken Garratt.

With the school summer holidays drawing to an end East Anglia’s tourist hotspots are gearing up for bumper crowds looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24