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Poor households paying up to £541 more a year for goods and services

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theguardian.com

Low-income families in the UK’s poorest neighbourhoods are paying up to £541 a year more than affluent households to access the same basic services such as energy and insurance, and buy essential items such as TVs and fridges, a study claims.The Fair by Design charity has called for the government and regulators to outlaw practices it says discriminate against the poorest families, costing them hundreds of pounds a year because of where they live, how much they earn, or how they are paid.One in eight households in the UK experiences at least one type of poverty premium, paying on average £430 a year in extra costs, though it is far more prevalent in deprived areas, especially in the north and Midlands regions of England.Low-income households in Birmingham Hodge Hill parliamentary constituency pay the highest average premium at £541 a year, followed by West Bromwich West (£522), Birmingham Erdington (£520), Bradford West (£518) and Birmingham Yardley (£517).Just under 20% of households in Liverpool Walton paid poverty premium costs, followed by Nottingham North (18.9%), Blackley and Broughton in north Manchester (18.4%), Hackney South and Shoreditch (18.3%) and Kingston upon Hull (18%).“People shouldn’t have to pay more for life’s essentials because they are on a low income.

Industry, government and regulators need to come together to make sure everyone can access the products and services they need at a price that is fair,”said Martin Coppack, the director of Fair by Design.He said introducing a series of measures to tackle the poverty premium – such as the introduction of a social tariff for low-income customers struggling with high energy bills – would be a straightforward way for the government to tackle the cost of

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