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Showing posts with the label living standards

Separate Scotlands

A new study examining the minimum amount of money people need to have an acceptable living standard in rural Scotland found this is up to 40% higher than in urban Britain. The cost of living in a countryside town is consistently more expensive in remote Scotland than in England, in some places by as much as 25%. The study was commissioned by several councils, housing bodies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Research was carried out in three remote rural areas: the Highlands, the islands and southern Scotland. The study looked at living costs in towns such as Lerwick, Wick, Campbeltown and Stornoway, as well as in small settlements. People living in remote areas have to pay more for many goods including food, household items, petrol and clothing. They also endure "significant additional costs" because they often have to travel further to get to work, the report said. Household energy bills in remote rural Scotland are "much more" more than e…

feather-bedded and gold-plated

Ian Bell, the Herald's columnist has written a useful article about the attcks on state workers pensions. He points out that public sector pensions account for 1.5% of GDP. By 2027-28, the percentage is projected to rise all the way to an “unsustainable” 2%. It also takes no account of the effect of shedding half a million jobs thanks to George Osborne’s 2010 spending review.

"A reformer was invariably someone who wanted to make a bad situation better. Not any more. In the mouths of politicians these days, reform is a word meant to give credibility to changes that are liable to be unpleasant, unpopular, or both...When you are told you will have to work longer, pay more and receive less in old age for your pains, it’s little comfort to hear that your lot has been “reformed”..."

Negotiations are at an end even as the talking continues is the position, it seems, of Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, who will defend his “fair and reasonable” proposals, of the p…

1957 and 2006 - Are we better off ?

What difference does 50 years make for the working class . Are we all better off . Well , it certainly appears that way . UK household income has doubled in real terms over the last fifty years. And the pattern of family spending has also changed dramatically. Basic necessities including food accounting for a smaller proportion of our family budget, while spending is up on leisure activities, travel and motoring. Income going to housing makes up a greater share. According to the BBC and the Office of National Statistics

In 1957, spending on food, fuel and rent , the basic three items , made up nearly half of all household expenditure. Taken together with clothing and travel, basics made up nearly two-thirds of family spending. The main luxuries for the ordinary family were tobacco and alcohol, which combined made up just under 10% of spending. The biggest other luxury item was meals eaten out making up 3% of spending. Four of the top ten spending items were food or drink, with spending…