It may surprise many to learn that the highest cost of living in the UK is not in England’s capital, but in Devon. Council tax, water rates, and the price of internet all contribute to worrying times for those within the 1.1 million people currently living in the county.
What makes matters even worse is that the broadband speeds are the poorest in the UK.
As such, people are effectively overspending to get what would be considered to be a modest speed in other parts of the country. Many of Devon’s residents, as such are left with less money than others in the UK, which potentially means falling into debt with Council Tax Arrears, water rates and credit obligations.
The price comparison site uSwitch conducted a study which found that South Hams residents are at worst, paying, on average, £332 a month on utility bills and insurance in contrast with just £185 for those in Westminster. The poor broadband speeds and highest water rates are pretty hard to swallow, too, given the information reported by The Mirror.
It appears that London also has the boss on the lowest costs for running a household. With fantastic broadband speeds, Westminster’s lowest council tax for Band D properties, and other areas of interest, London surprising was eclipsed by its south-western counterpart.
While Westminster has low rates when it comes to council tax, other areas in the south such as Hounslow, West London, Slough, Berks, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Wycombe – had the cheapest water at £30 a month.
The report also found that, in an analysis of 2,000 postcodes, properties in CM22 – Uttlesford, Epping Forest, East Hertfordshire – pay considerably more for home insurance at £66 a month when against the NE44 postcode in Northumberland. Areas such as Corbridge and Riding Mill pay a modest £6 a month to protect their properties.
Shona Eyre, who acts as a consumer expert at uSwitch.com, said: “This goes to show that your postcode can play a big part in how much you pay to keep your home running.
“While those living in areas with higher monthly running costs may feel cheated by how much they are paying compared to other parts of the country, it’s important to know that there are a few steps that can help reduce the strain of your finances.
“Shop around to see if you can get a better deal on your home insurance, energy and broadband. Just by switching your energy alone you could save up to £500 a year.”
It may certainly come as a surprise to most to hear just how much those in Devon are spending on utilities and bills, in general. London has long been considered as the one region guaranteed to put inhabitants out of pocket.
Devon’s reputation as a county for holidaymakers and second-home buyers may be expected to suffer a little, given the progressive slide towards such an exceptionally expensive cost of living.