The cost of living: Which things cost more than they used to?

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A series of statistics have pinpointed the everyday costs that have put most pressure on the cost of living in the UK.

Data cards looking back over the past 40 years show the change in pay, house prices, interest rates and the cost of cars, cinema tickets, milk, beer and medicines.


The statistics show that the average salary in the UK in 2015 was £25,608. That was 14 times higher than the average earnings in 1975 (£1,809).




However, over the same period, the price of houses jumped 18 per cent, beer cost almost 20 times more and medicines shot up 41 times.

That means all three now cost us more – comparatively – than they did back in the 1970s.


It’s not all doom and gloom though. The price of cinema tickets, cars and milk has risen slow than salaries – making them all more affordable than they were 40 years ago. Not that this is good news for dairy farmers, whose struggles have not been helped by the fact that milk has not risen in price as much as other everyday items.


The data also shows interest rates have dropped dramatically over the same time period – from 11.25% in 1975 to 0.5% in 2015. The cost of borrowing has, therefore, fallen significantly, which makes for nicer numbers when you’re using a loan calculator, for example.

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