A NATIONWIDE cost of living index published today (April 26) names Lichfield in Staffordshire and Middlesbrough as among locations where people must work the longest to afford a Greggs sausage roll.

InvestingReviews.co.uk commissioned senior independent economist John Hawksworth to carry out the study of 100 cities and towns across Great Britain, measuring the amount of time a typical full-time employee has to work to afford a takeaway sausage roll from the famous bakery.

He found the hardest-earned sausage rolls were in Lichfield (4 minutes and 54 seconds) followed by Middlesbrough (4 minutes and 48 seconds).

People in Middlesbrough typically had to work around 65 per cent longer than more affluent Londoners to afford their sausage roll.

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The Greggs Sausage Roll Index is the first known use of Sausage Roll-onomics as a benchmark tool to compare living standards across Britain and exposes the regional inequalities that persist despite the Government’s flagship levelling-up agenda.

It was calculated using Greggs sausage roll prices and local median hourly pay estimates provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The approach was to take the latest available estimates of median gross hourly pay for full-time employees from the 2021 ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and adjust them according to the latest available estimate from the ONS of regular pay growth in the three months to February 2022 as compared to a year earlier.

The fastest earned sausage rolls were mostly in the South East with London (2 minutes 58 seconds), Oxford (3 minutes 15 seconds), Slough, Guildford (both 3 minutes 16 seconds) and Derby (3 minutes 17 seconds) making up the top five.

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Greggs’ home of Newcastle managed only 30th place in the list of the country’s fastest-earned sausage rolls. Geordies had to work an estimated 3 minutes and 46 seconds to scrape together the necessary funds.

Greggs sells approximately 2.5million sausage rolls a week across more than 2,000 shops with takeaway sausage rolls typically priced at £1.05.

Publication of the index comes just weeks after the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities released its levelling up white paper which outlined the government's plans to target geographic inequalities. Critics have branded it “unambitious” and “lacking detail.”

Meanwhile, Greggs has warned customers they may have to work even harder for their sausage roll in the future, with a raft of price hikes expected later in the year.

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John Hawksworth said: “These local earnings gaps are driven by variations in productivity across places that reflect deep-seated disparities in education, opportunity and infrastructure across the country.

“Narrowing these income gaps remains one of the most important economic challenges facing this and future governments.”

InvestingReviews.co.uk CEO Simon Jones said: “Amid all the Government’s talk of levelling up, a great divide still exists across Great Britain today with Greggs customers in some parts typically having to work 65 per cent longer than Londoners just to be able to afford a sausage roll.

“As the cost of living squeeze continues to intensify, Brits are going to have to work a lot harder in the future to afford life’s simple pleasures.

“The Government is going to have to take urgent action if their flagship policy doesn’t become a millstone around their neck.”


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