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‘You either heat or eat’: The reality for people in Nottingham with lowest disposable income

today3 July 2022

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People have shared their thoughts on Nottingham having the lowest disposable income per person in the UK. Rising food, bills and rents have all contributed to this, people have said.

Compared to part of the country where disposable income is much higher, in Kensington and Chelsea, Nottingham’s disposable income is four times lower than this, research from tank The Resolution Foundation shows. As the cost of living crisis continues, people have said they “can’t see things getting better”.

Before housing costs, the average income per person in the city in 2019 was £11,708, which was 4.5 times lower than Kensington and Chelsea (£52,451). A report found that Nottingham is in a poorer position relative to the UK average in 2019 than it was in 1997. The average income for a resident was 20 percent below the national average in 1997 – now it lags behind by 34 percent.

Read more: Cancelled holidays and retirements in Nottingham due to cost of living crisis

People in St Ann’s have shared their thoughts on this with many opening up about how the cost of living is affecting them. Charlene Angelo, 51, is aware of the support out there for people but fears it won’t be enough in the long run. Ms Angelo, who is a SEN support worker who lives in St Ann’s, told Nottinghamshire: “People’s wages aren’t going up. How are people expected to live through the cost of living crisis?

“I don’t think the Government fully understands what people are actually going through currently and there’s only so much that they can help. I can’t see things getting better for now.”

Nottinghamshire Live spoke to staff at the St Ann’s Advice Centre food bank. The food bank on Robin Hood Chase delivers many food parcels in the community.



St Ann's Advice Centre.
St Ann’s Advice Centre.

David Gregory, 65, volunteers at the food bank. He shared his views on Nottingham having the lowest disposable income, and said: “There’s two different classes, you go to Chelsea where Grenfell happened and you can see they’re two different places, it will never change. You either heat or eat and what annoys me is we’re one of the richest countries in the world so why are there people sleeping in the street?”

Mr Gregory continued and said: “I think that tax on fuel should be cut. That would bring the cost down for delivery drivers, food, takeaways. It seems common sense, it all has a knock on effect on everything.”

Currently, the average cost of fuel a week is £186. Dave Abbott, 61, feels that Nottingham is getting more and more deprived. Now retired, he said: “All the closures in Nottingham aren’t helping the city. You look in town and there’s hardly anything there. It’s all takeaways and restaurants but not everyone can work in those industries. Even in St Ann’s, there’s just nothing here. No jobs, so how are people supposed to keep up with living costs?

“The catch is, though, even with a job you can’t keep up with living costs. Money either goes on all these things that have skyrocketed recently or it’s [money] is there to just make ends meet for the unemployed.”

It comes ahead of the expected energy cap rise in October. The current energy price cap in the UK stands at £1,971. It marked a £693 rise from the previous cap when this was increased in recent months. But Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley said he expected the cap to rise again, this time to £2,800 in October.

Speaking recently about the energy costs, Labour MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome, said: “This is a crisis. Poverty is already at shocking levels and, with this latest price rise, 7.8 million UK households will struggle to heat their homes over winter. Without action from the government, lives will be destroyed.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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