‘It’s a struggle to find cash to keep homes warm in Bradford'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Damien Mulqueen with Samantha Wilson and Harry Damien Mulqueen with Samantha Wilson and Harry

Yorkshire people are renowned for being careful when it comes to parting with their cash.

So it is no surprise that the recent Office of National Statistics Family Spending Survey 2012 has found a North/South divide in the amount of money we pay for some of our daily needs and essentials.

According to figures from the ONS, Londoners and families in the South East generally spend more on recreation and culture; TV, video and computers, newspapers and magazines, sports admissions, subscriptions and leisure class fees and equipment hire compared to the North.

The South also cleans up on everyday essentials such as toiletries and soap, hair products and cosmetics but that doesn’t mean they take better care of themselves as according to the survey folk in Yorkshire and the Humber spend less on medicines, prescriptions, healthcare products and equipment.

It’s supposedly colder up North yet the survey finds Southerners are spending more on gas and electricity – one of the biggest factors in Northern folk’s financial woes.

Our on-street survey in Bradford found more families this year are struggling to heat their homes due to hiking energy prices.

For Damien Mulqueen, 29 and Samantha Wilson, 28, it is causing greater financial hardship for them as they are both unemployed with two young sons, Harry four and three-month-old Jake.

“I put an extra jumper on!” laughs Damien.

“Bills have gone up, the price of fuel has gone up so has the price of food,” says Claire Hird, 27 from Bradford and her partner, Scott Deighton, a builder.

Recently unemployed electrical engineer Shaun Taylor, 34, and partner Tammie Martin from Cleckheaton are also finding it tough.

The couple, who have three children Kaitlyn, six, Konnah, three and one-year-old Kaileb, say they are spending at least £50 per week on gas. “Gas is costing a fortune and food shopping, we seem to be getting less for our money.”

Mum Samantha Williams, 34 and from Bradford, estimates she is spending £55 a week on her gas bill alone.

When asked whether folk are spending in less in Yorkshire compared to the South because we’re more frugal with our spending, she added: “I think we have no choice at the moment. I have had no pay increase and everything is going up.”

Samantha says food is another item which has significantly increased in price. “Food has definitely gone up, it is ridiculous,” she adds.

Rebecca Beever, 28, from Bradford, mum to eight-year-old Dylan and six-year-old Lewis, says she is spending far more on food and clothes than before. According to the ONS survey folk living in Yorkshire and Humber are averaging £20.50 per week on clothing and footwear compared to the average weekly spend in London of £27.20. Families in the North East and North West also pay slightly more along with those in the South East and South West. Families in the East and West Midlands pay the least – an average weekly spend of £19.50.

Clothes are also a prominent expense for 30-year-old Aqsa Kiran and her family but Aqsa says she manages their expenditure with a weekly budget.

“I like having a weekly budget but sometimes it seems like it is going up more than the budget, you cannot maintain the budget.”

When it comes to food shopping, people in Yorkshire and Humber spend an average weekly £49 on food and non-alcoholic drinks compared to the £59 forked out by those living in London. Interestingly expenditure on bacon and ham and fresh, chilled or frozen beef is slightly greater in Yorkshire and Humber compared to London, yet people in London spend more per week on pasta, bread, rice and cereals.

Surprisingly, for a county famed for its tea drinking, Yorkshire families and those in the North East and Scotland spend ten pence less than families in London, the East and West Midlands and the South East on its weekly char purchases.

But we do surpass the South with our sweet tooth spending marginally more on confectionery products and our London counterparts.

Linda Harrison, also 34 and from Oakenshaw, mum to one-year-old Kayden and 13-year-old Ronan, agrees food and heating bills are costing far more forcing many to ponder whether they should pay their gas and electric bills or buy food.

Her only ‘little luxury’ is her cigarettes. Interestingly, the ONS household expenditure survey found people in Yorkshire and Humber spend a weekly average of £12.50 on alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics compared to families in London whose weekly average spend on such items is £10.70.

Interestingly, though, Londoners spend more on wine (£4 a week) with folk in Yorkshire and Humber spending more on beer, lager, ciders and perry (brought home).

When it comes to holidays families in the North, South East and South West appear to spend more on package breaks abroad compared to their London counterparts, while technology remains an integral part of the household budget with families in London, the South East and South West spending only slightly more than their Northern counterparts on internet subscription fees.

We also love our pets with families in Yorkshire and Humber spending a weekly average of £3.80 compared to the £2.90 spent by London families.

Education is another example of the North/South divide with families in the South spending more than those in the North.

In Yorkshire and Humber, the average weekly education expenditure, accounting for fees and payments for school trips, is £3.40 compared to £14.40 in London. Understandably rent is substantially more in London than it is in Yorkshire and Humber costing £89.10 on average a week for London tenants compared to the £37.60 paid by those in Yorkshire and Humber.

Transport is another escalating expenditure, according to our on-street survey, and the second highest category in the ONS household expenditure survey.

Yorkshire and Humber families spend more on fuel than their London counterparts and slightly less on bus and coach and rail fares.

Eighteen-year-old college students Lauren Peters, from Queensbury, and Becky Belt, from Bradford, both cited bus travel expenses as their most costly outgoing.

“We have to be careful,” says Lauren, referring to controlling their expenditure like true Yorkshire folk, “If you’re not careful you’re skint and have no money for anything.”

Comments (14)

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9:21am Thu 12 Dec 13

BagOfMonkeys says...

£50 a week on gas?! Our 4 bedroom semi is using £4.50 a day (£32/week) for gas AND electric (I check every day so I know).

Use boiler instead of gas fires and just keep it ticking over day and night to keep it warm enough to just wear one jumper!
£50 a week on gas?! Our 4 bedroom semi is using £4.50 a day (£32/week) for gas AND electric (I check every day so I know). Use boiler instead of gas fires and just keep it ticking over day and night to keep it warm enough to just wear one jumper! BagOfMonkeys

9:31am Thu 12 Dec 13

sorrow&anger says...

We spend less because we have less. Cameron's recovery is just for the wealthy.
We spend less because we have less. Cameron's recovery is just for the wealthy. sorrow&anger

11:07am Thu 12 Dec 13

Baildon girl says...

I can actually believe the £50 a week, so far this year were spending £20 on gas and £15 on electric and that is only having the central heating on for an hour in the morning before work and then on a night for an hour. When weather starts to get really cold ours will double (we are on token meters, due to previous debt with monthly debt)

Last 2 years have been particually bad had to keep paying less rent each week which got us into debt and also had to cut the weekly food shop. Weve just got back upto date with rent a couple months ago and its that time of year again :(

Its ok people saying just wear extra clothing but that doesnt keep the property at the correct temperature, we got incommunities out last year to various damp patches which according to them is due to not having the property at the right temperature, and ours is very cold property

At least alot of people on benefits etc get noticed and helped out with these grants thats more than what low income working families are entitled to
I can actually believe the £50 a week, so far this year were spending £20 on gas and £15 on electric and that is only having the central heating on for an hour in the morning before work and then on a night for an hour. When weather starts to get really cold ours will double (we are on token meters, due to previous debt with monthly debt) Last 2 years have been particually bad had to keep paying less rent each week which got us into debt and also had to cut the weekly food shop. Weve just got back upto date with rent a couple months ago and its that time of year again :( Its ok people saying just wear extra clothing but that doesnt keep the property at the correct temperature, we got incommunities out last year to various damp patches which according to them is due to not having the property at the right temperature, and ours is very cold property At least alot of people on benefits etc get noticed and helped out with these grants thats more than what low income working families are entitled to Baildon girl

12:35pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BagOfMonkeys says...

Baildon girl wrote:
I can actually believe the £50 a week, so far this year were spending £20 on gas and £15 on electric and that is only having the central heating on for an hour in the morning before work and then on a night for an hour. When weather starts to get really cold ours will double (we are on token meters, due to previous debt with monthly debt)

Last 2 years have been particually bad had to keep paying less rent each week which got us into debt and also had to cut the weekly food shop. Weve just got back upto date with rent a couple months ago and its that time of year again :(

Its ok people saying just wear extra clothing but that doesnt keep the property at the correct temperature, we got incommunities out last year to various damp patches which according to them is due to not having the property at the right temperature, and ours is very cold property

At least alot of people on benefits etc get noticed and helped out with these grants thats more than what low income working families are entitled to
Baildon Lass, I'd only question whether you're well lagged, your house that is. With cavity wall done, a good foot or more of insulation in the loft, and some decent thick/thermal curtains then you can leave the central heating on all day and night at a nice comfy 18-19C. Use gas fires, or even indeed leave the chimney with air gushing up it (I put a baffle on ours) and you might as well burn the £20 note to stay warm!
[quote][p][bold]Baildon girl[/bold] wrote: I can actually believe the £50 a week, so far this year were spending £20 on gas and £15 on electric and that is only having the central heating on for an hour in the morning before work and then on a night for an hour. When weather starts to get really cold ours will double (we are on token meters, due to previous debt with monthly debt) Last 2 years have been particually bad had to keep paying less rent each week which got us into debt and also had to cut the weekly food shop. Weve just got back upto date with rent a couple months ago and its that time of year again :( Its ok people saying just wear extra clothing but that doesnt keep the property at the correct temperature, we got incommunities out last year to various damp patches which according to them is due to not having the property at the right temperature, and ours is very cold property At least alot of people on benefits etc get noticed and helped out with these grants thats more than what low income working families are entitled to[/p][/quote]Baildon Lass, I'd only question whether you're well lagged, your house that is. With cavity wall done, a good foot or more of insulation in the loft, and some decent thick/thermal curtains then you can leave the central heating on all day and night at a nice comfy 18-19C. Use gas fires, or even indeed leave the chimney with air gushing up it (I put a baffle on ours) and you might as well burn the £20 note to stay warm! BagOfMonkeys

12:36pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Not so simple says...

IMPORTANT READ AND SPREAD THE WORD. NO GIMMICKS

I recently became aware of a scheme which ensures we ALL can save energy without any cost to us for any efficiency improvements. I heard about this through a neighbour and I would highly reccomend them for their service.

Basically if you get child tax credit,working tax credit, state pension credit, have an income of less then £16000, recieve income based Employment Support Allowance and have kids, recieve Income based job seekers and have children then you may qualify for a TOTALY FREE BOILER AND OR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM. So long as you own the house or rent it privately and your boiler is a non condenser or if you do not have central heating then these guys will get government approved funding via the ECO Green deal project and give you one FREE OF CHARGE.

YES if you qualify you get a FREE boiler and or central heating system.

The best part is this: some of us do not claim benefits but WE CAN also get improvments for free; They offer free loft insulation and cavity insulation to everyone else.

I had my loft and cavities done and my home is lovely and warm, very impressed considering I do not get owt else off the state!

The number for the local assessor is 07852 148408 pass it on whilst the scheme is still around.
IMPORTANT READ AND SPREAD THE WORD. NO GIMMICKS I recently became aware of a scheme which ensures we ALL can save energy without any cost to us for any efficiency improvements. I heard about this through a neighbour and I would highly reccomend them for their service. Basically if you get child tax credit,working tax credit, state pension credit, have an income of less then £16000, recieve income based Employment Support Allowance and have kids, recieve Income based job seekers and have children then you may qualify for a TOTALY FREE BOILER AND OR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM. So long as you own the house or rent it privately and your boiler is a non condenser or if you do not have central heating then these guys will get government approved funding via the ECO Green deal project and give you one FREE OF CHARGE. YES if you qualify you get a FREE boiler and or central heating system. The best part is this: some of us do not claim benefits but WE CAN also get improvments for free; They offer free loft insulation and cavity insulation to everyone else. I had my loft and cavities done and my home is lovely and warm, very impressed considering I do not get owt else off the state! The number for the local assessor is 07852 148408 pass it on whilst the scheme is still around. Not so simple

12:42pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Not so simple says...

Not so simple wrote:
IMPORTANT READ AND SPREAD THE WORD. NO GIMMICKS

I recently became aware of a scheme which ensures we ALL can save energy without any cost to us for any efficiency improvements. I heard about this through a neighbour and I would highly reccomend them for their service.

Basically if you get child tax credit,working tax credit, state pension credit, have an income of less then £16000, recieve income based Employment Support Allowance and have kids, recieve Income based job seekers and have children then you may qualify for a TOTALY FREE BOILER AND OR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM. So long as you own the house or rent it privately and your boiler is a non condenser or if you do not have central heating then these guys will get government approved funding via the ECO Green deal project and give you one FREE OF CHARGE.

YES if you qualify you get a FREE boiler and or central heating system.

The best part is this: some of us do not claim benefits but WE CAN also get improvments for free; They offer free loft insulation and cavity insulation to everyone else.

I had my loft and cavities done and my home is lovely and warm, very impressed considering I do not get owt else off the state!

The number for the local assessor isBefore someone asks why the goverment backed scheme is doing this here goes

the reason why they replace boilers is that the old ones are not very energy efficient, for example my neighbours boiler was less then ten years old and was only 75% efficient, meaning that for every £10 of gas spent only £7.50 was being used and the rest was just being blown in to thin air. The less gas we use the more money we save....simples.

Same applies to insulation; 25-35% of heat is lost through the roof and a further 25-35% is lost through the walls and windows.

The government should do more advertising for this scheme as currently it's only word of mouth. Ring 07852 148408 and ask the gentleman yourself.
[quote][p][bold]Not so simple[/bold] wrote: IMPORTANT READ AND SPREAD THE WORD. NO GIMMICKS I recently became aware of a scheme which ensures we ALL can save energy without any cost to us for any efficiency improvements. I heard about this through a neighbour and I would highly reccomend them for their service. Basically if you get child tax credit,working tax credit, state pension credit, have an income of less then £16000, recieve income based Employment Support Allowance and have kids, recieve Income based job seekers and have children then you may qualify for a TOTALY FREE BOILER AND OR CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM. So long as you own the house or rent it privately and your boiler is a non condenser or if you do not have central heating then these guys will get government approved funding via the ECO Green deal project and give you one FREE OF CHARGE. YES if you qualify you get a FREE boiler and or central heating system. The best part is this: some of us do not claim benefits but WE CAN also get improvments for free; They offer free loft insulation and cavity insulation to everyone else. I had my loft and cavities done and my home is lovely and warm, very impressed considering I do not get owt else off the state! The number for the local assessor isBefore someone asks why the goverment backed scheme is doing this here goes the reason why they replace boilers is that the old ones are not very energy efficient, for example my neighbours boiler was less then ten years old and was only 75% efficient, meaning that for every £10 of gas spent only £7.50 was being used and the rest was just being blown in to thin air. The less gas we use the more money we save....simples. Same applies to insulation; 25-35% of heat is lost through the roof and a further 25-35% is lost through the walls and windows. The government should do more advertising for this scheme as currently it's only word of mouth. Ring 07852 148408 and ask the gentleman yourself. Not so simple

1:07pm Thu 12 Dec 13

johnhem says...

before all this help was available people used draught excluders and sealants on windows and doors and coped quite well.
when first starting married life I rented a one up/down that was very draughty, it had a cellar and attic where a lot of draughts came from. I sealed up the small window in the cellar and had an excluder on the door, and did the same to the attic door, and the house was immediately noticeably warmer. an excluder can be made very cheaply with old tights/stockings stuffed with crushed up paper, or if you are handy with a needle make your own. old trousers/jeans stuffed up and laid at the bottom of the door work just as good as those "brush" strips you can buy, and cost nothing.
sometimes rooms have air vents from outside through the walls, for about £2 you can buy a cover that can be opened/closed so no draughts from them anymore. open them on a night when you go to bed and close them when you get up, the room will soon get warm again.
before all this help was available people used draught excluders and sealants on windows and doors and coped quite well. when first starting married life I rented a one up/down that was very draughty, it had a cellar and attic where a lot of draughts came from. I sealed up the small window in the cellar and had an excluder on the door, and did the same to the attic door, and the house was immediately noticeably warmer. an excluder can be made very cheaply with old tights/stockings stuffed with crushed up paper, or if you are handy with a needle make your own. old trousers/jeans stuffed up and laid at the bottom of the door work just as good as those "brush" strips you can buy, and cost nothing. sometimes rooms have air vents from outside through the walls, for about £2 you can buy a cover that can be opened/closed so no draughts from them anymore. open them on a night when you go to bed and close them when you get up, the room will soon get warm again. johnhem

4:49pm Thu 12 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

I think some people need educating how to operate heating/cooking systems £50 per week is a ridiculous amount for Gas, I'm sure this could be trimmed quite easily.
I think some people need educating how to operate heating/cooking systems £50 per week is a ridiculous amount for Gas, I'm sure this could be trimmed quite easily. alive and awake

6:39pm Thu 12 Dec 13

freespeech says...

Perhaps your local MP can help, with a 11% pay rise in the pipeline.
Perhaps your local MP can help, with a 11% pay rise in the pipeline. freespeech

6:40pm Thu 12 Dec 13

RollandSmoke says...

Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.
Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline. RollandSmoke

7:46pm Thu 12 Dec 13

allinittogether says...

Why is it that there are always smarta*ses on here cannot help but criticise people who are struggling? The privatised utilities are ripping us off and all some can do is infer that people are not managing their finances correctly.
Why is it that there are always smarta*ses on here cannot help but criticise people who are struggling? The privatised utilities are ripping us off and all some can do is infer that people are not managing their finances correctly. allinittogether

7:53pm Thu 12 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

RollandSmoke wrote:
Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.
Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately.
[quote][p][bold]RollandSmoke[/bold] wrote: Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.[/p][/quote]Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately. alive and awake

8:18pm Thu 12 Dec 13

RollandSmoke says...

alive and awake wrote:
RollandSmoke wrote:
Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.
Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately.
I've been trying to educate you all week. It seems your brainwashing (or salary) means that logic has become a foreign language to you. I don't think I've ever seen a more severe case of cranial rectum interference. Usually with this problem both the cranium and the rectum belong to the same person however yours seems to be more a case of prostitution than self affliction.
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RollandSmoke[/bold] wrote: Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.[/p][/quote]Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately.[/p][/quote]I've been trying to educate you all week. It seems your brainwashing (or salary) means that logic has become a foreign language to you. I don't think I've ever seen a more severe case of cranial rectum interference. Usually with this problem both the cranium and the rectum belong to the same person however yours seems to be more a case of prostitution than self affliction. RollandSmoke

8:52pm Thu 12 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

RollandSmoke wrote:
alive and awake wrote:
RollandSmoke wrote:
Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.
Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately.
I've been trying to educate you all week. It seems your brainwashing (or salary) means that logic has become a foreign language to you. I don't think I've ever seen a more severe case of cranial rectum interference. Usually with this problem both the cranium and the rectum belong to the same person however yours seems to be more a case of prostitution than self affliction.
What exactly do you disagree with me on. and don't say everything. I am right on every single point I make.
[quote][p][bold]RollandSmoke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RollandSmoke[/bold] wrote: Well suprise suprise. The workers are spending less on their gas and electric than those who are left little choice but to be at home all day such as the sick and pensioners. Sure they could go somewhere warm to meet friends had the government cuts not forced many such places to close. They are hardly going to be inclined to want to be going anywhere when what little funds they have are taken up staving off hypothermia. Obviously their heating costs are going to be higher than those of people who are out at work all day. Unfortunately in this day and age the number of people who see the obvious is in decline.[/p][/quote]Educate the numpties! Look Labour have dumbed down our society so much that half the poulation are too thick to close a door, plan a family meal, no idea at all how to be economical, (sorry apart from the truth.) I bet a family of 6 having soup, will put the gas ring on 6 times and all eat seperately.[/p][/quote]I've been trying to educate you all week. It seems your brainwashing (or salary) means that logic has become a foreign language to you. I don't think I've ever seen a more severe case of cranial rectum interference. Usually with this problem both the cranium and the rectum belong to the same person however yours seems to be more a case of prostitution than self affliction.[/p][/quote]What exactly do you disagree with me on. and don't say everything. I am right on every single point I make. alive and awake

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