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Cornwall is officially the poorest area in the UK

By DaveCDM  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

Comments (36)

Cornwall is the UK's poorest region - and is now less wealthy than Poland, Lithuania and Hungary.

Statistics produced by Eurostat - the EU's equivalent of the office of national statistics - show average wages in the Duchy now stand at £14,300 a year.

The relative wealth of the area is then driven further down by the cost of living - meaning people here have less spending power than most of the rest of Europe.

Cornwall is ranked equally with the Welsh valleys as the poorest part of the UK, and is in the top ten most deprived areas in western Europe.

Average wages in Britain stand at £23,300 - just above the EU average of £20,750.

However, inner London is the richest part of the whole EU, with average wages standing at more than £71,000.

*What do you think? Is Cornwall neglected by Westminster in favour of the south east?

Or are the lower earnings the price you pay for choosing to live in the Duchy despite its remoteness from the rest of the country?

Let us know what you think using the comment form below:

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  • trevorguern  |  May 13 2014, 5:48PM

    Just because we choose to live in a beautiful part of the UK doesn't mean we should be penalised. Scotland is very remote from London as is Tyneside and other parts of the UK but their living standards perhaps are not as poor as ours. There is wealth in Cornwall, but it is limited to a minority. I wonder perhaps whether investment in Cornwall has been strangled at source by those with money and influence who wish to keep the county picturesque and limit expansion. M&S in Newquay perhaps is an example. The fact is there is a huge unemployment problem in Cornwall and that which has mental health impact too. I see this in my hypnotherapy practice with people who feel as if they have no prospects in staying in the place they were born and bread in. Westminster needs to wake up and Mr Cameron coming down here for a summer jolly needs to actually get amongst people who are clinging on by their finger tips. No, that would be to much like facing reality wouldn't it. I moved to Cornwall in 2010 and started my own business as a hypnotherapist, since that time I beleive I have seen a good deal of the heart and soul eroded out of Cornwall as has happened for the rest of the UK under four years of the alliance leadership with their so called big society. Cornwall will not be beaten though. What I have learned since living within the community is that the Cornish are tenacious, justifiably proud and fiercely independent. Its the Celtic spirit, the same of my Welsh and Irish Ancestry. Whichever party has been in power, I think the Cornish quite rightly feel that the people in Westminster are sat in their ivory towers so remote and looking after their own chums. How many west country politicians feel that somehow their voice is just ignored for the needs of the people of the west country? As for the average salary in London being £71.000.00 pa I believe that figure to be somewhat over optimistic! in 2007 i was in retail management in a specialist boutique home entertainment industry and I was earning just over 33k and i remember my brother in law who is a branch manager for HSBC in Kent that that was good money and better than the national average. We need massive investment in Cornwall and we need diversity not just agriculture and tourism. We need manufacturing too. East Anglia has become a silicone valley of the electronics industry over the last thirty years. How about here? How about the fact that we have a great marine industry opportunity for manufacturing or Marinas? There is so much more to Cornwall and its people than tourism and agriculture and investors need to be positively encouraged to lift Cornwall up to where it belongs with equal parity with any other county in Great Britain

  • fripfoll  |  May 11 2014, 1:09PM

    "Cornwall is ranked equally with the Welsh valleys as the poorest part of the UK, and is in the top ten most deprived areas in western Europe." Maybe someone should disclose this information to First Devon & Cornwall who think we can afford a 36% rise in bus fares? Westminster ensure fare regulation is in place in London & S.E but not in Cornwall!

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  • rhauri  |  May 08 2014, 6:46AM

    http://tinyurl.com/o3su8d6 - you can slide up the monthly payments bit and see how Cornwall (as an area) compares to other. To increase housing affordability in Cornwall which should get more weight, higher incomes or more housing supply to reduce prices (or reduce the rate of price rises) ? - http://tinyurl.com/ke67ax9

  • Luke_Angove  |  May 07 2014, 10:08PM

    This is why we must take Kernow back into Cornish control!!! For far too long Kernow has suffered under the rule of Westminster, our elected representatives there pay only lip service to our Cornish aspirations, and do nothing to further our cause. We need a democratically elected ASSEMBLY for Kernow, one within which we have our own laws and taxation defined by Cornish people, for Cornish people. We want out of the UK, we want our country of Kernow to be free and independent, just like our brothers and sisters in Alba/Scotland aspire to. Vote Mebyon Kernow for an independent Cornwall within the federation of European nation States!!!

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  • rhauri  |  May 07 2014, 2:19PM

    Perhaps more scary on housing, is how regions away from London & the SE are moving away from (being left behind) London & SE prices. Greater inequality isn't good (IMHO) https://twitter.com/resi_analyst/status/462260639398776834/photo/1

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  • Cknocker  |  May 07 2014, 12:02PM

    Ah I see, the problem which I expect you understand, from looking at regional pictures, particularly when looking at Cornwall in the frame of a South West Region (stretching from Lands end to Swindon), taking in the Welsh Borders in Gloucestershire, is that Cornwall with the highest prices is watered down significantly by places like Plymouth (7.57), Torquay (8.77), Taunton (8.41), Bristol (7.86) and Swindon (6.24). Not only do these areas have relatively cheap housing, bit they have an awful lot of it - probably having five times Cornwalls housing stock between them, which means they have a disproportionate effect on the average P/E ratio compared to Cornwall. For the same reason you can't really use individual towns for comparisons - you can't take Truro and say thats the figure for Cornwall. So probably the best comparison is by postcode area, giving you: TR - 14.39, PL - 10.08, EX - 9.35, TQ - 12.9 (Note that is another seriously disadvantaged area, suffering similar problems to Cornwall), TA - 10.08, BS - 9.91.

  • rhauri  |  May 07 2014, 11:32AM

    Cknocker, I can't find the article I read :-( - from memory it looked at regions, not specific cities / towns. - I 100% accept your point that for many earnings Vs house prices is a disaster in Cornwall.

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  • Cknocker  |  May 07 2014, 11:02AM

    I used Camborne as an example for the fact it has Low House Prices, relatively high average earnings (Note that Camborne also has a very high number of benefit claimants, who don't show up on the figures) and not many very high priced properties (No coastline) to skew the figures and that was another reason for showing 2 bed properties, as they are less skewed by the higher priced poperties again. I just can't see any justification for saying house prices in Cornwall are more affordable than many parts of the country, it just is not true! And the facts support that. Heres some examples (I'm not cherry picking, they're just random Picks) : - Worcester - WR Postcode aea - P/E Ratio 5.89 - WR1 - Whole of WR - 10.45 Medway ME1 - 7.79, Whole of ME - 9.38 Cambridge CB1 - 9.77, whole of CB - 12.74 Truro TR1 - 9.89, Whole of TR - 14.39 Leeds LS1 - 5.3, Whole of LS 7.91 Where are these more unaffordable areas, I'm struggling to find them! Those areas are affluent areas in there own right, with Medway being a London Commuter town. If you can find the figures to support your claim, I would love to see them! Although I do agree with you, that despite are problems, Cornwall is far richer than most of the UK, when you look at safety, sense of community and happiness. But there is a massive issue when it comes to disposable income and that is what has led to a stagnant economy for 20 years now. The average wage from these figures is just over £14k, that means the average monthly take home is about £1000. Rent is going to set most people back about £500-£600, Council Tax £100/m, transport £200/m, Gas and Electric £70/month, water £50/month. Thats £920 per month and they've not even eaten yet or clothed themselves, let alone the other essential "non essentials" like telephone, internet, television, insurances. The only way these people are surviving is through things like - working tax credits (the great employers subsidy) and housing benefit. Yet these people are patronised by this demonic government as being "Hard Working Families" (What have they against single people by the way?) and then demonised by the same people for claiming benefits! (am I alone in not getting that?). I dread to think where we would be now without having recieved vast sums from Europe for the last 20 years!

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  • rhauri  |  May 07 2014, 10:08AM

    Cknocker, I totally agree that many locations in Cornwall are more expensive (looking at salaries Vs property prices) than elsewhere in the UK. - I've previously seen the stats on how "expensive" Truro is. But there are also many areas that are cheaper and I read a detailed report and survey for house prices, by "county / region" for the whole of the UK at the end of last year, where on average Cornwall came out relatively well. - Average house prices will get distorted by a few high value houses (eg the substantial premium on coastal / sea view properties in Cornwall Vs the rest). So median prices are a better data source. Commuter house buying isn't unique to Cornwall (consider most of the South East for London jobs). My attempted point was that many (most?) of the problems are national and perhaps regional (Western Europe)? While we deal with these challenges as individuals and communities, the wealth and health by virtue of happiness and quality of life is, I believe higher in Cornwall than much of the UK and is also achieved by a greater % of the people living and working in the Cornwall than a UK average. That is not to say there aren't massive problems in Cornwall. My concern is that this is an easy headline, that could be replicated in most areas of the UK. So it is likely to have less weight on central government etc. decision makers than arguments and stats etc. that are more Cornwall unique.

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  • Cknocker  |  May 07 2014, 9:00AM

    There are a couple of reasons why Camborne shows up as having among the highest earnings in the county, emphasising Beanz point: - 1. There are some very well paid jobs In Camborne/redruth - unfortunately not many, but enough to skew the average. 2. The town has become a commuter town, with a lot of people woorking in Penzance and Truro finding its the only place they can afford to live!

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