Payment structures and price plans in utilities and financial services continue to inflict higher costs on the poorest in society. Regulators and the government need to do more.
New research shows many already falling £52 short of an adequate standard of living. When in a house with high energy needs, this increases to £77. Photograph: Getty Images.
The poor pay more. It is a well-worn phrase but we must not let that undermine the impact of what it means in real life for real people.
A new report, published today, calculates the premium paid by poor people on essential utilities and access to financial services is as much as 10p in the pound – a significant extra cost for those that are already struggling to make ends meet.
This has a hugely detrimental impact on people’s living standards, risking hardship and poverty. Taking what the public determine as an acceptable minimum standard of living in the UK today as its basis, the research shows a single person working full-time earning the minimum wage already falls £52 a week short of having a sufficient income to reach an adequate standard of living. If they’re living in a house with high energy needs and subject to a poverty premium, this shortfall increases to £77 per week.
The gap is even greater still for those out of work and in receipt of benefits. If they live in a house with high energy needs, their low-income and the poverty premium combines to leave them some £135 per week short of a socially acceptable standard of living.
daily alternative | alternative news – The poor are still paying more for basic utilities and financial services