According to a new report, the cost-of-living crisis is hitting rural residents harder than urban dwellers.
According to the Rural Services Network’s study, rural residents spend more on heating, transport, and housing.
The report revealed that they are subject to significantly higher costs and earn less than their urban counterparts.
House prices have risen in comparison to the towns since the pandemic.
The study revealed that rural house prices in England are nearly 40% higher than urban ones, with rural villages and towns rising to 55%.
Rural households with low incomes now spend almost half their income on rent, which is nearly 5% more than urban households with low incomes.
‘Families in fuel poverty’
Heating houses in the countryside can be more expensive because they are less well-insulated, and not connected to the gas network.
Research shows rural households require more than PS500 in order to get out of fuel poverty. This is twice the amount required for urban areas.
According to the Campaign for Better Transport, transportation costs are also more expensive as 3000 rural bus routes were lost or reduced over a decade.
Due to a greater dependence on cars, data shows that rural households average PS114 per week in transport costs, while urban households only spend PS80. This results in a lower percentage of disposable income.
Despite the higher cost of living, rural workers with lower earnings earn 12% less than urban employees.
Graham Biggs is the chief executive of Rural Services Network. This network represents rural councils as well as other service providers. He stated: Rural areas are often more isolated than maps show and contribute to higher living costs.
The government must move beyond policy silos to develop an integrated approach that recognizes rural areas’ multiple disadvantages.
This includes ensuring that rural wages are not stagnant and that rural homes are more efficient in order to lift families out of fuel poverty.
A spokesperson for the government said: We understand people are concerned about their energy bills. Therefore, today we announced additional details about the Energy Price Guarantee. Based on current energy prices starting in October, the guarantee will save the average household PS1,000 per year.
Rural areas will be supported by the government in the months ahead. This includes the actions we took to help farmers, such as bringing forward 50% funding for the Basic Payment Scheme, reducing employer insurance, and cutting fuel duty.
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