Senedd Research Article: the Cost of Living in Rural Areas

September 2022 | Featured, Rural poverty

People in rural areas often experience higher daily costs than those in non-rural areas. This is the assertion of a recent (July 2022) Senedd online research article The article outlines what contributes to these additional costs and how the Senedd and the Welsh Government are responding to them.

The key contributory factors outlined in the article are:

  • Rising energy prices, which can impact on rural areas disproportionately due to older housing stock and more off-grid properties. The article references a recent report by the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee which recommends that Welsh Government create an energy efficiency scheme to tackle rural fuel poverty.
  • The cost of essential items. The article quotes evidence from The Bevan Foundation that “average rural household at GB level spends £641.10 per week on essentials compared with £572.90 for the average urban household”.
  • Rising cost of agricultural inputs, including fuel, fertiliser, and animal feed and the subsequent threat to the viability of farm businesses.
  • Transport, including the heavy reliance on private vehicles due to the lack of public transport and therefore the impact of steep fuel price rises on family budgets.

The article outlines ways in which Welsh Government is responding to these issues and references  reports from the Equality and Social Justice Committee and the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee.

Read the Senedd Research Article here.

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