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Living costs in rural areas 'high'

Wednesday November 24th 2010

Families are facing financial problems in rural areas and have to spend 10% to 20% more than their counterparts in the city to reach an acceptable living standard, a survey has suggested.

Research by Loughborough University has revealed that a combination of higher living costs and lower salaries make it difficult for people living in the countryside.

According to lead author Dr Noel Smith, city dwellers benefit more than people living in rural areas as a result of better and cheaper public transport, as well as other amenities.

The study, carried out for the Commission for Rural Communities suggests that as a result of higher costs, rural residents are required to earn at least 50% more than the minimum wage of £5.93 per hour to meet with rising expenditure.

The survey also claims that an individual needs to earn a minimum of £15,600 annually, £17,900 per year in a village and £18,600 in a hamlet or the remote countryside, to be able to afford an acceptable standard of living.

For urban dwellers, at least £14,400 needs to be earned annually to touch the minimum standard of living.

Nicola Lloyd, executive director, Commission for Rural Communities, said: "We would also like to see developments which lessen the need for expensive travel to reach essential services, such as greater access to broadband and mobile technology, and creative solutions to providing employment and services closer to home."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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