Because more equal societies work better for everyone

Richest Spend More on Restaurants Than Poorest Do on Housing and Energy Bills

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

Analysis of today's ONS Family Spending publication by The Equality Trust has found that the richest 10% of households spend more on eating out (£58.40) than the poorest 10% of households spend on housing, fuel and power combined (£44.50). The Equality Trust also found:

  • The richest 10% spend £34.50 per week on furniture and furnishings, which is more than the weekly food shop of the poorest 10% (£30.40). 
  • The richest 10% spend more on wine per week (£9) than the poorest 10% spend on their water bills (£7.30).
  • The richest 10% spends as much on alcohol and tobacco each week (£17.70) as the poorest 10% spends on their gas and electricity bills (£17.70).
  • The richest 10% spend more on their pets (£7.90) than a family in the poorest 10% spends on clothing and footwear (£6.30).
  • The poorest are often accused of spending money on expensive branded trainers, but the richest 10% spends more than 6 times (£8.20) the amount the poorest 10% do (£1.30) on footwear per week.

Dr. Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, said:

“There's a gargantuan gap in spending between the richest and poorest households because there is such huge inequality in our society. We often hear the poor criticised for being wasteful, that's a hard argument to make when the richest are spending more on their pets than the poorest are on clothing their families. 

"Many people are working, budgeting, and making difficult choices about which necessities to go without. We know millions more are in danger of falling into debt and poverty. It's about time the Government addressed the urgent need to reduce inequality and poverty, and support those who are clearly in dire need."

Notes to editors

All figures can be found here (table 3.1)

The Equality Trust is a registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality. UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this results in poorer mental and physical health, higher violent crime, poorer educational outcomes and lower levels of trust. Inequality affects us all. For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact John Hood on 07580 651 337 or john.hood@equalitytrust.org.uk

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