London is no longer the most expensive place to live in the UK, according to new figures published yesterday by specialist accident and health insurer Combined Insurance.
It said that Cardiff and Edinburgh now top the list, followed by Leeds, Southampton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester.
According to Combined Insurance, recent increases in utility bills, together with ever increasing levels of personal debt, mean that while the average Londoner is forced to spend 75 per cent of their monthy pay on essential everyday costs - such as mortgage, rent, utility bills and debt repayments - people from Cardiff and Edinburgh are committed to paying as much as 97 per cent and 93 per cent respectively of their pay packets to meet the basic cost of living.
In Birmingham, people are committed to paying 85 per cent of their salary on living costs, still much higher than London.
Nigel Brittle at Combined Insurance said: "These findings call into question the long-held belief that London is the UK's cost capital with an exorbitant cost of living.
"When monthly income is taken into account, and all monthly commitments are totted up - not just mortgages - it's clear there are residents in other parts of the UK that are living closer to the financial edge."
He added: "Whilst we are all aware of the need to cover our larger, more obvious assets such as our home, its contents and our car, the majority of us often forget about protecting ourselves and our other financial commitments.
"For little more than the price of an average take-away, people could take steps to have the peace of mind knowing that if the worst should happen, they and their families are able to make ends meet."