Lonely Britons hit by 'singles tax' pay extra £8,234 a year

Lonely Britons hit by 'singles tax' pay extra £8,234 a year

Dr Gewolb discusses the stealth income tax

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 28/02/2024

- 13:11

Single people are paying more towards the cost of living, as well as the cost of having a quiet night, compared to couples, new research has found

People in the UK who are not in a couple or married are likely to pay an extra of £8,234 (around 24 per cent of annual income) per a year in living costs as part of a “singles tax”.

Experts are warning Britons of this little-known levy accumulated by the costs single individuals have to pay in full, while they may be split by couples.

Research carried out by UK Debt Expert found that British people are worse financially for being single. This was determined by analysing both rent and bills, as well as lifestyle costs.

Singles face being hit with an extra £240.28 bill per year even if they stay inside to save money, according to the finance experts.

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Single person looking at phone

Single people in UK are paying more than couples as part of the "singles tax"


For example, UK Debt Expert revealed that a single person is likely to spend around £60 more on pizza takeaways annually than couples for the same amount of food per person.

Furthermore, singles at risk of paying around £180 extra a year on streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+.

Overall, someone having a movie night and a takeaway for one would pay an additional £20.02 per month.

On average, singles are spending an extra £7,994 more per year than those in couples for living alone, which includes more money on rent, council tax, energy and utilities, and broadband.

If the national average singles tax on living cost of £7,994 is added to the extra costs for streaming services and takeaways, UK Debt Expert calculates a cost night in alone could cost an extra £8,234 a year.

Monthly, this amount comes to £686.17 extra spent on living, streaming and takeaway costs for singles, without a partner to share costs with.

Due to average wages in the UK being at £34,963 for full-time workers, singles face losing 24 per cent of their annual salary if they are paying the national average “singles tax” and enjoying a night in.

Maxine McCreadie, a personal finance expert at UK Debt Expert, highlighted that many people are opting to stay at home to save money instead of going out but the cost of being single leaves many unable to effectively do so.

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She explained: “In fact, single people are often left with little buffer to cover other essential costs as 24 per cent of their annual income could be lost to singles tax.

“This premium that singles are having to pay leaves far less disposable income for other costs, like dating, socialising, owning a pet or attending a wedding; parts of modern life no one should feel the need to miss because of costs.

“With the cost of living crisis, falling into debt is increasingly the result of not being able to cover the basics, rather than splurging on luxuries; with singles facing an extra expense of £8,234 per year just for the essential costs of living alone and opting for sensible nights in, it’s easy to see how.”

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