Local Living Costs
Variations in the Costs Borne by Low Income Households
Elaine Kempson and Fran Bennett
There has been remarkable little research on the geography of poverty and inequality in the UK, and that which has been undertaken has largely focused on income inequalities or proxies for them. Local variations in living costs has received far less attention, yet differences in the amounts which people living in different parts of the country have to pay for basic services are significant - and seem to be widening.
This report examines local variations in the costs of housing, council tax, water, electricity, and discretionary charges (such as meals-on-wheels, school meals and home care). The authors identify some substantial differences between the most and least expensive local areas across all the charges; assess the levels of continuity or change in terms of the areas which are cheaper or more expensive; look at the protection that exists for households on low incomes; and review the overall impact of local variations in living costs on different types of low-income household. They conclude with a discussion of the policy implications of these important findings, and suggestions for future policies.
£15.00 paperback ISBN 0 85374 733 4
August 1997 92 pages A4
PSI research paper