In responding to the survey in November, more than half of residents said they did not know where to get support when experiencing financial hardship. Recognising the challenges for residents in finding support, the council has launched an online help hub and a cost of living helpline, and has provided information leaflets delivered to homes across the city.
Increases in the cost of food (97%), gas or electric bills (88%), fuel (73%), public transport (22%), rent or mortgage (21%) are driving the increase in the cost of living.
Only one in 10 residents have seen their income or earnings increase in line with or above inflation in the past 12 months, meaning for 89% of residents, their income will buy them less than it previously did. Residents are spending less on essentials (51%) and non-essentials (70%), using less fuel in their home (56%) and shopping around more (48%).
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, comments:
“Thank you to everyone who shared their views in our Big Portsmouth Survey. By taking part, residents help the council and its partners to shape services for local communities now, and as we work towards our shared vision for 2040.
“The results told us what we anticipated: things are tough. It is extremely worrying that half of people are struggling to meet their day-to-day living costs. And those whose cost of living has not increased are nevertheless concerned about living costs in the future (60%). But the survey has also told us where people are struggling so we can point them in the right direction for support.
“For anyone who is struggling financially, we have launched a cost of living hub and helpline to support you. There’s advice and support on a number of different topics, like food, energy and bills, money and debt, health and wellbeing, skills and employment, low-cost travel in and out of the city, and budget-friendly activities in Portsmouth.
“Visit the cost of living hub at portsmouth.gov.uk/costofliving or call the dedicated cost of living helpline on 023 9284 1047. We are really keen to support those who need it through this challenging time.”
More than 1,600 residents had their say in The Big Portsmouth Survey on how the rising cost of living was affecting them, in research undertaken by Portsmouth City Council. The Big Portsmouth Survey was open to Portsmouth residents aged 16 and over from 26 August until 16 October 2022.
This year’s survey looked to understand the local impact of the rising cost of living on residents in the city. We also asked for views around sustainable travel, how the city should be responding to the climate crisis, and about cultural activities and opportunities for things to do which align with the Portsmouth city vision for 2040.
Residents shared their experiences and views through an online survey, via a telephone consultation service or community events.
The council did some similar research in 2020 and 2021, but with a focus on the impact of coronavirus.