The study suggests that rural poverty is worsening, as many in the countryside rely on hospitality work, which though seasonal and low-paid, has been an important source of income.
For now, this has disappeared, and many of those jobs may not return. Evidence of a ‘permanent middle-class flight to the country’, risks property owners unsettling the rural housing market for local people who struggle to afford to buy.
Dr Cookson argues that living away from a town is expensive, especially as village shops, post offices and other facilities have disappeared in recent years. A lack of public transport coupled with widespread fuel poverty, and poor internet connectivity have resulted in deprivation for rural businesses and households in recent years, problems which are now being exasperated with the pandemic.
Left Foot Forward - Rural Britain needs a New Deal
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