Living alone costs single people an extra £250,000 over a lifetime, it has been claimed, in a new study commissioned by UK price comparison website uSwitch. Researchers compared the spending of people living alone with couples, and found that carrying the full burden of a mortgage, holidays and bills all adds up and that single people actually spend more than £250,000 over the course of their life because they are not part of a couple.
Added importance has been given to the findings by the projection that the number of single-person households in the UK could reach 9.5 million over the next decade.
The biggest aspect of what has been dubbed the ‘singles tax’ is housing, with people who live alone having to pay an average of £7,080 a year on mortgage or rent compared with £3,804 for someone living with a partner. On top of this there is the full cost of household bills, not shared, and council tax. Here in the UK, lone residents can claim a rebate on council tax, it is only 25% rather than the 50% it should be to equal what a couple pays.
Expensive single hotel rooms and the lack of opportunity for bulk buying at the supermarket were noted as additional ‘penalties’ faced by singles. Ann Robinson, of uSwitch, stated that:
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