Rural communities face “significantly higher” costs and earn “much less” than their urban counterparts.
“The government must overcome policy silos and develop an integrated approach that recognises the multiple forms of disadvantage rural areas face.”
Rural areas have their own problems:
Last week, the Rural Services Network brought out a report:
NEW REPORT SHOWS DEVASTATING TRIPLE BLOW PUSHES RURAL COMMUNITIES INTO A COST-OF-LIVING EMERGENCY
Rural communities are facing a triple blow in the cost-of-living crisis, as higher domestic and transport energy poverty, coupled with lower wages, pushes rural areas into a cost-of-living emergency, according to new report published today. The research was conducted before the inflation increases recently announced.
The report, Rural cost of living, by Kovia Consulting for the Rural Services Network, which represents rural councils and other rural service providers, examined the key differences in cost-of-living between rural and urban locations. It found that rural residents working in rural economies earn much less than urban residents, yet still face significantly higher costs across key aspects of living including heating, transport, house prices, rent, food prices, child-care costs and council tax.
It’s been covered extensively by the wider media:
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting people living in rural areas harder than those living in towns and cities, according to a new report. The study, by the Rural Services Network, says those in the countryside are spending much more on essentials like heating, transport and housing. Facing “significantly higher” costs, they earn “much less” than their urban counterparts, the report found.
In rural areas in terms of heating homes, the reduction in fuel bills needed to take a household out of full poverty would be £501, compared to £223 in urban areas – which is because on average, rural households tend to be less energy efficient and have a higher rate of using off the gas grid.
Graham Biggs, Chief Executive of the Rural Services Network, has said: “While the recent government energy support package is welcome, rural areas are facing a triple burden of higher heating and transport costs, while also earning a lower income. The government must overcome policy silos and develop an integrated approach that recognises the multiple forms of disadvantage rural areas face. This should include levelling up the rural economy to ensure that low wage levels can be improved, as well as supporting rural houses to become more energy efficient to help get families out of fuel poverty.”
Rural house prices are 39 percent higher than in urban areas across England (excluding London), the research found, with rural villages and hamlets increasing to 55 percent higher. Prices have increased more recently in rural areas, rising 10% between 2020 and 2021, with some rural and coastal areas rising at three times the national rate, such as North Devon and Richmondshire.
Rural renters are also facing similar pricing struggles, with prices jumping by 11 percent since the pandemic, compared to just 2 percent in urban areas. This is particularly affecting rural households on low income who now spend 47% of their earnings on rent compared to 43% for low-income households in urban areas.