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The impact of the cost of living crisis on rural areas: The burden of the ‘rural premium’


Village shops are struggling to compete with larger retailers on the price of their product, the report added, as villagers visit less regularly due to the cost-of-living crisis, buying an average of just three items.

Meanwhile, three in ten rural businesses struggle to hire due to their remoteness and lack of suitable transportation, compared to just four percent of urban businesses.

Another difficulty for these companies was the finding that less than half have usable 4G network coverage, which was described as “likely to limit the restrictive responses and options for many companies.”

The report calls on ministers to prepare an economic blueprint for rural businesses, more ambitious housing plans, funding for warm community centers and an expansion of the Rural Fuel Duty Relief scheme.

Vulnerability of the rural economy

Julian Sturdy, the Tory MP for York Outer and co-chair of the inquiry, said: “This report shows beyond any doubt that those who live and work in rural areas are seriously disadvantaged. This advantage is further impaired in difficult economic conditions.

“The government must now show its ambition for the rural economy, working across departments to develop a serious package of policies that will grow the economy, create good jobs and strengthen communities in all parts of the country .”

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