Cost of Living

This page holds information and resources for Public Health colleagues to use in addressing issues related to Cost of Living. The majority of these materials will have been created in the North West by colleagues working in the regional Public Health system though not exclusively. You will not find all materials related to the topic here. The LGA and other organisations are also hosting resources.

Additional resources

Loan Sharks and the Cost of Living – some research published earlier in 2023 based on a survey in Wales:

Citizens Advice Cymru produce a dashboard of cost of living-related data based on their caseloads which offers a wide range of up-to-date figures on the impact of the cost of living situation, including difficulties in paying prepayment meters and energy bills: CA cost of living data dashboard | Flourish The dashboard covers England and Wales and tracks debt from 2020 to 2023.

Care & Repair Wales produced a useful report on the state of older people’s homes in Wales which goes into a bit of detail on the compounding impacts the cost of living crisis has had on housing quality and also on Care and Repair’s ability to support their clients:

Cost of Living Dashboard and report from Suffolk (this contains some national data)

Cost of living crisis in Wales: A public health lens

Public Health Wales  - a report on cold homes and health.  

Kings Fund Podcast: The cost-of-living crisis: is the nations's health paying the price?

Citizen’s Advice data dashboard on cost of living that’s being updated monthly CA cost of living data dashboard | Flourish.  (Local Authority breakdowns on P15-19.)

Supporting residents with the increased cost-of-living: Behavioural science (

Mental Health and the Cost-of-Living Crisis: Another pandemic in the making?, a policy briefing that explains the evidence linking financial stress to mental health problems, the impact the cost-of-living crisis is likely to have on public mental health, and our recommendations to prevent widespread poor mental health.   

Sefton's new Child Poverty Strategy 2030 is a whole Council, whole Place, long-term response to specific local drivers of poverty, which are amenable to home-grown, assets-based change. The strategy has three high stakes outcomes focused in the present and future, which reflect the often inter-generational timescales associated with child poverty; to:

  • Reduce the level of poverty and time spent in poverty now
  • Minimise the harmful effects of poverty on educational achievement, health, and well-being now, and later in life
  • Prevent future poverty for today’s children and young people

Poverty Proofing (PDF Linked): This approach is being tried in schools across the North/Midlands, and Warwickshire are now looking at taking this approach with a community. The aim is ‘no activity or planned activity in school should identify, exclude, treat differently or make assumptions about those with less financial resource’. This work began with a regional consultation across the North East and the results were clear: “if there’s one place it’s miserable to be poor it’s school”. Examples include:

  • Children who are able to identify who is on Free School Meals (FSM) because when they go on trips those eligible for FSM’s are provided with a brown or white paper bag.
  • Children talk of not being able to afford the trips, even if the costs were covered by the school, they often do not have the equipment or the spending money to fully participate which hinders their engagement.
  • Young people decide not to opt for certain GCSE subjects that they want to because there is a cost associated e.g. music tuition.

Wirral’s Insight Work: Links to some work produced in the last year by their Qualitative insight team, in relation to the research and analysis around Cost of Living with residents in Wirral.

Links to Cost of Living Data:

Cost of Living Data: Analysis of ONS data linking to Vulnerable Cohorts

At the North West Healthy Ageing Leads and Commissioners Network Meeting on 30 January Carol Hunter, Statistician at the Department of Health and Social Care, presented an analysis of ONS data linking it to vulnerable cohorts. Her presentation: ‘Estimating the number of people with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions living in poverty, England: 2021’ is attached. If you have any queries please email Carol at