WORKERS in Barnsley are more than £100 poorer a month compared to previous years – with even more residents now expected to be unable eat, heat their homes and keep clean.
A report delved into how the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation has impacted people in Barnsley.
It revealed that in Barnsley – where poverty was already increasing before the Covid-19 pandemic – has been disproportionately affected compared to other areas across the country.
The report said: “As inflation exceeds increases in wages, many individuals are seeing their household income reducing.
“In October 2022, Barnsley’s inflation rate was 11.9 per cent, however wages increased by only 0.8 per cent between January and July 2022.
“This means that workers living in Barnsley are on average £101 a month poorer compared to the previous year, whilst spending on essentials has increased.”
The report also revealed that more than 26,000 people are claiming Universal Credit in the town – 38 per cent of which are in work.
Almost a third of all school children are eligible for free school meals whilst 11.5 per cent of the population claim council tax support.
Barnsley has been ranked as the 30th most vulnerable local authority in the country when it comes to the rising cost of living, with 17 per cent of jobs in the town classed as ‘low pay’.
“Over a third of the Barnsley population live in the 20 per cent most deprived areas in the country, and around one in five children in Barnsley live in absolute low-income families.
“Census 2021 data suggests that almost two-thirds of the Barnsley population can be considered ‘deprived’ according to four dimensions of deprivation which include employment, education, health, and housing.
“So as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, many more children, young people and adults in Barnsley will be living in poverty.
“Communities that were previously outside of the most deprived 20 per cent nationally may now face the same levels of financial hardship as previously experienced by communities in deciles one and two.
“Many are at risk of becoming destitute.
“This means regularly going without the absolute essentials – not being able to eat, heat their homes or keep clean.”