Show us the money!

editorial image

How much cash do you have in your pocket?

If you live in Blackpool, not so much it seems, especially compared to the well-to-do 
socialites of the south.

Lytham town centre.

Lytham town centre.

Families in Blackpool can only make a drop in the ocean when it comes to splashing the cash compared to the rest of the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows the area to be 18th lowest area in the country for disposable 
income after finishing 156th out of the 173 areas.

Residents in the town on average had £13,848 to live on in 2013 once factors such as taxes were paid for.

Blackpool’s results provide a stark comparison to residents in the Westminster borough of London which had an average of £43,577 gross disposable income per head in 2013, the highest of any area of Britain.

Gross disposable income is described by the ONS as money left after “expenditure associated with income”.

It reflects what people have to live on once their taxes, mortgage or rent and pension savings have been taken out.

The figures relate to totals for all individuals within the household rather than an average household or family unit.

The ONS collated figures to see how disposable income in an area has changed since 1997 – the year Tony Blair’s New Labour government was elected. The data shows Blackpool’s average disposable income has increased by almost £5,000 with the average in 1997 being just £8,940 per head.

Gross disposable household income per person increased in all regions of the UK between 2012 and 2013 according to the data.

Despite this, residents in the London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea – home to the likes of Binky Felstead (pictured left) and her chums from reality TV show Made In Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden, the City of London and Wandsworth typically had more than double the disposable income of the average UK resident. Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We don’t need another set of data to tell us about the challenges that we face in Blackpool to improve the quality of life of all our residents, including household incomes.

“We are committed to developing the local economy, helping businesses invest and create jobs and ensuring our children have the best possible chance of progressing to the well-paid, highly-skilled jobs and apprenticeships that are available.

“We will continue to work with investors and local businesses to develop a high quality resort destination and focus in on other opportunities such as the Airport Enterprise Zone to unlock long term economic growth.”

Areas in south Fylde fell under Mid-Lancashire category in the ONS data and provided better reading.

On average, residents had £15,497 to live on in 2013 which increased from £9,253 in 1997.

However, Fylde coast residents did not feel they had a lot of money to play with.

Chris Parker, 68, a retired mechanic, from St Annes, said: “When I was working the amount of work we got came in cycles but people who live up north are always going to be worse off than those down south. Politicians will always focus on what is closer to home for them, unfortunately places like us will never be the government’s priority.”

Lucie Hollings, 28, from Lytham, said: “It’s only in the last 12-18 months that I have seen a difference.

“I left university in the midst of the recession and struggled to find work but things do seem to be getting better now.”

Paula Davis, 48, of St Andrew’s Road North, St Annes, said: “I am sure I am not the only one who is feeling the squeeze, it seems like most families are having to cut back on what they spend.

“But it’s just about being sensible with your expenditure, not much has changed in the last 10 years for me.”

TOP

Westminster £43,577

Kensington and Chelsea/

Hammersmith and Fulham: £42,116

Camden and city of London: £37,324

Wandsworth: £35,734

West Surrey: £24,706

BOTTOM

Walsall: £12,613

Blackburn and Darwen: £12,276

Sandwell: £12,100

Nottingham: £11,757

Leicester: £11,739