Hard up

Think tank: Centre for Progressive Policy

Author(s): Ross Mudie; Ben Franklin

September 21, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Progressive Policy looks at how rising prices are hitting different places, and how they can respond.

Different areas across the country experience crises differently. Underlying social and economic vulnerabilities play a significant role, but so too do the powers and resources that different areas can draw upon. There has been no starker demonstration of this variation in experience in recent times than the Covid-19 pandemic. But now, faced with a cost-of-living crisis whose economic implications threaten to match or even exceed those of the pandemic, places are once again preparing to meet a tidal wave of need. This report explores the challenges facing different places during the cost-of-living crisis. New analysis highlights which places in England are most vulnerable to the impact of rising costs and interviews reveal the experiences of those on the front line in local government dealing with the crisis. It offers policy recommendations to give areas the financial power and agency required to support residents and businesses, both in immediate response to the crisis, and to recover and rebuild in the long term.