- UK inflation held steady at 3% this month but typical household bills have increased by 50.7% on average over the past 20 years
- Utility bills up 139% and housing costs have risen by 98%
- Only areas of spend to have reduced are clothing and shoes (down 49%), phone, internet and entertainment
The cost of alcohol and cigarettes has soared by 169 per cent – more than three times the rate of inflation since 1997, a new report suggests.
While the cost of everyday household spending has risen by 50.7 per cent over the past 20 years, according to Tilney’s Household Inflation Index many items have risen by considerably more.
Utility bills have also grown by nearly three times the main household inflation rate at 139 per cent.
The average price of a pint of draught beer, meanwhile, has risen from £1.84 in November 1997 to £3.61 in October 2017, inflation data from the Office for National Statistics reveals.
The cost of drinking and smoking has risen at more than treble the rate of household inflation
While an analysis of official inflation statistics by financial planning firm Tilney doesn’t give pounds and pence examples due to the complex nature of price data, a 20-pack of Benson & Hedges now costs £7.35 at leading supermarkets.
That compares to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association’s average price of £3.12 in 1997 – the year of Cool Britannia, when the Spice Girls, Blur and Oasis were at the top of the charts, Tony Blair arrived in Downing Street and Princess Diana died.
Unsurprisingly, rocketing housing costs complete Tilney’s top three areas of household inflation, up 98 per cent since 1997.
Three areas have seen falls, it claimed, shoes and clothing, entertainment and recreation and telephone and internet.
The figures come as the latest inflation data showed this week that the rate of price increases has continued to rise, up 3 per cent in November.
The average dual fuel energy bill for a three to four-bedroom house is currently £1,163, says the UK Power comparison site. And some quick maths puts the 1997 figure at around £837.
Tilney’s 139 per cent change finding comes hot on the heels of Big Six providers Npower and SSE revealing plans to merge, which will further reduce consumer choice and could lead to a rise in prices.
The price of clothing and shoes has fallen by almost half over the past 20 years – but sadly some of the fashion popular in the Spice Girls hayday is making a comeback
The price of holidays and eating out have risen by 89 per cent and 85 per cent, respectively, over the past 20 years, the analysis also found.
Food and drink (excluding alcohol) costs are up by 49 per cent – which is almost in line with inflation of the typical household’s basket of goods.
How inflation has varied across different spending categories between 1997 and 2016
There are only three areas of spending to have experienced falling prices – clothing and shoes (-49 per cent), entertainment and recreation (-12 per cent) and phone and internet (-4 per cent).
The price of clothing and shoes has fallen by almost half, largely thanks to rise in cheaper overseas manufacturing, according to Tilney’s Household Inflation Index.
ONS data reveals the typical household’s weekly income has risen by 78 per cent between 1997 and 2016, from £316 to £562.
|Litre of fuel||67p||£1.18|
|Grocery shop (weekly)||£9.86||£53.20|
|20 Benson & Hedges*
|*Not an average **Latest data for 2016 ***Latest data for 2013|
Andy Cowan, head of financial planning at Tilney, said: ‘Inflation is often seen as a single figure affecting all households in a uniform way, but price rises and falls have varied dramatically across different goods and services over the last 20 years.
‘This means that individual households can experience inflation very differently, depending on what they spend their money on.’
Energy bills cost £58k over a lifetime
UK adults are paying £58,000 on energy bills in their lifetime – or £80 a month for 60 years – but millions still don’t know what they’re paying for – according to research compiled by comparethemarket.com.
The survey run by the comparison site also revealed around 40 per cent of consumers admitted they find their electricity and gas bills difficult to understand. And a fifth (18%) of consumers stated that difficulty in understanding their energy bills prevented them from ever reading them.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online