Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Outgoings up due to transport, rent

Rising fuel costs and rents mean families now spend 20 pounds a week more than they did a year ago, new figures show

Families' weekly outgoings have gone up by nearly £20 in a year, largely due to increased transport costs and rents, an official study has found.

Households were typically paying out £473.60 a week in 2010, according to the latest Family Spending report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures, released on the same day the Chancellor makes his Autumn Statement, showed the biggest chunk of spending was taken up by transport costs, which accounted for £64.90 per week, up by 11% or £6.50 from the previous year.

The ONS said spending on fuel, as petrol, diesel and other motor oils increased by £2.40, while families were also spending £2.50 more on transport services.

Families have seen their living costs soar while struggling to find returns on any cash they might have left over.

The second largest outgoings went on housing, fuel and power, which increased to £60.40 in 2010 from £57.30 in 2009.

The ONS said the rise was mainly driven by gross rent increases, which typically went up by £4.50. The rental market has seen a boom as would-be home owners needing large deposits have struggled to get onto the property ladder.

ONS family spending editor Giles Horsfield said that while families had had to spend more cash on "essentials" like fuel and rent, they had not dramatically reined in their outlay on more discretionary purchases like holidays.

He said: "Interestingly, spending on recreation and culture has stayed fairly steady. It's a story of holding tight on these sorts of expenditure."

Families' spending on recreation and culture, including holidays, TV and newspapers, stood at just over £58 a week in 2010, a similar figure to 2009, when the overall spending total was £455 a week, the ONS said. Spending on household goods and services increased by £3.50 to £31.40, with the rise driven by increased furniture and clothing costs.