Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland smokers spend twice as much on cigarettes as rest of UK

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

Northern Ireland smokers spend nearly twice as much each week on cigarettes as the average UK household.

We topped the weekly household spend with £7.80 on cigarettes compared to the national average of £3.90, according to a new government report.

The 2012 Family Spending report from the Office for National Statistics also showed that households here spend more each week on family basics such as bread, meat and potatoes.

We even shell out more for toilet rolls – 10p more than the average UK household.

The report, which studied the weekly spending habits of 750 families here, also confirmed that we spend the most on petrol and electricity.

Our weekly petrol bill comes out at £34.30, compared to the average UK spend of £23.70. We spend £11.20 each week on electricity compared to the average of £10.30.

The study put the average weekly household spend here at £489.40, which is just about the UK average.

Of that, £53.60 a week goes on food, £7.70 on alcoholic drinks and £31 on clothes.

We also like to enjoy a flutter, spending £4.10 on bets compared to a UK average of £2.90.

We are tops for spending on drinks in bars, pubs and club – £10.60 compared to UK average of £7.30.

And it seems that after a night out, we head to the takeaway. Again, Northern Ireland was the top region out of 13 for spending on takeaway meals eaten at home – £7.30 compared to £4.10.

Only Londoners spend more than people here on eating out. We spend £17.70 in restaurants and cafes weekly.

But our big-hearted generosity was also clear as the study revealed that households here give an average of £16.50 per week in cash gifts and donations compared to just £9.30 for the average UK household.

Interestingly, Northern Ireland topped spending for hairdressing and beauty treatments, with £4.80 each week, compared to the average of £3.40.

When it comes to our clothing and footwear we like to splash the cash too. While the UK average family spends £22.80 per week, we easily beat that by spending £39.30. Only London families come anywhere near us, with £27.20.

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