Wales hit harder by cost of living crisis due to poorly insulated homes and lack of public transport
Wales has been harder hit by the cost of living crisis due to poorer-insulated homes and a lack of public transport, a think tank has said.
The Centre for Cities identified Swansea as one of the hardest hit cities across the UK nations, saying that Wales’ second city had an inflation rate of 10.7%.
Inflation in Cardiff was running at 10%, and at 10.3% in Newport.
Burnley in Lancashire was the hardest hit across the UK, with an inflation rate of 11.5 per cent. Meanwhile, London only had an inflation rate of 8.8% because people were overall less reliant on their cars.
As of April 2022, workers in the North, Midlands and Wales were on average £131 a month poorer (a 5.8 per cent decrease) than in April 2021.
In the south of England meanwhile, residents had been comparatively sheltered from rising inflation because of better public transport and better quality housing.
The Centre for Cities called on the UK Government to increase benefits in line with inflation, to introduce the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit, and to provide those living in poorer-insulated homes with a one-off payment to help with soaring energy bills.
Centre for Cities Chief Executive Andrew Carter said: ‘The entire country has been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis but our research clearly shows some areas are being hit much harder than others.
“Worryingly, the North, Midlands, and Wales are struggling with higher rates of inflation that are further squeezing finances and leaving their residents hundreds of pounds worse off.
“These disparities prove that levelling up our cities to tackle spatial inequalities and futureproof the economy is more important than ever.
“In the short-term it is imperative that those most vulnerable are given the support they need to get through this crisis.
“Even while Westminster’s political situation is uncertain, ministers must act quickly to protect the areas most impacted and ensure they don’t fall even further behind.”
Welfare is reserved to the UK Government but the Welsh Government introduced a package in March including a £150 cost of living payment to eligible households and £25m to provide discretionary support for other purposes related to living costs.
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