Loughborough University
2022 Cost of Remoteness Update.pdf (466.43 kB)

The cost of remoteness: reflecting higher living costs in remote rural Scotland when measuring fuel poverty: 2022 update

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posted on 2024-06-17, 08:05 authored by Amanda Bryan, Jo Ellen, Donald Hirsch, Matt PadleyMatt Padley

The Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University, has pioneered research
into publicly determined minimum living standards through its Minimum Income Standard
programme. This sets out what the UK public agree households need in order not just to
survive, but to live with dignity. The Minimum Income Standard produces annually updated
income benchmarks for a range of household types.

The Scottish Government commissioned the Centre for Research in Social Policy to
undertake research in remote rural Scotland to identify what is needed for a minimum,
socially acceptable standard of living in these areas. This ongoing research is needed as the
Minimum Income Standard income benchmarks are key to the Scottish fuel poverty
calculation detailed in the Fuel Poverty (Targets, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Act

The research is based on discussions with groups of people from different sorts of
households, living in remote rural mainland and island areas, to identify minimum needs –
and minimum household budgets – and how these vary from those established through
ongoing research in urban UK. The research established a baseline of minimum needs for
these areas and used these to calculate a percentage ‘uplift’ to be applied to the Minimum
Income Standard benchmarks in the Scottish fuel poverty calculation.

This report updates estimates made for 2021 of specific additional costs that make it more
expensive to meet a minimum acceptable living standard in remote rural areas of Scotland.
In 2022, minimum budgets were updated based on inflation, on updated costings in remote
rural Scotland, and on adjustments to take account of new UK-wide Minimum Income
Standard research in urban areas and the new minimum budgets that this produced.

The report sets out the impact of inflation, updated costings and new urban UK research on
remote rural Scotland minimum budgets. Taken together, these produce new minimum
budget uplifts for 2022.


Commissioned by: Scottish Government



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