Cost of Christmas dinner rises twice as fast as Mansfield wages

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The cost of a Christmas dinner has risen twice as fast as monthly wages in Mansfield over the past two years, new analysis suggests – showing that the highest cost for households this season is food.

The Trades Union Congress said a plan must be made to jumpstart the economy as working people struggle to cover costs over Christmas.

Using office for national statistics figures on inflation, the stop the squeeze coalition estimated the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner has risen 30 per cent over the past two years.

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Meanwhile, recent ONS data on wages shows the median monthly income for people in Mansfield has risen fifteen per cent from £1,866 in November 2021 to £2,143 last month.

General view of a traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day
General view of a traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day
General view of a traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day

It means the Christmas dinner bill has grown two times faster than wages in the area.

Paul Nowak, TUC general secretary, said: “While supermarket wars may mean some items are not as expensive as others this Christmas, let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture.

“We can’t go on like this. Working people should not be struggling to put food on the table and buy presents for their family.”

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He said a plan is needed to “jumpstart” the economy and added there is a need for a change of government.

Sabine Goodwin, director of the Independent Food Aid Network, said food banks in its network are working to support increasing people on low wages, in insecure work, and with “inadequate” social security payments.

She added: “Not only is the cost of a Christmas dinner unaffordable to many this year, but more and more people are facing destitution.

“It's time to prioritise building a fairer society based on an equitable tax system, ensuring a living income and a healthy standard of living for all.”

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Separate estimates from the centre for economics and business research project the average household will spend £550 this Christmas, up from £480 in 2022.

It means this year's festive bill would take up 26% of the average person's monthly salary in the Mansfield district.

Other key components of the festive basket, including toys, games, and clothing, are expected to see expenditure around a fifth higher in 2023 than was the case in the prior year.

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