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The Office for National Statistics defines severe material deprivation as measuring "the proportion of the population that cannot afford at least four of the following items:

  • To pay their rent, mortgage, utility bills or loan repayments

  • To keep their home adequately warm

  • To face unexpected financial expenses

  • To eat meat or protein regularly

  • To go on holiday for a week once a year

  • A television set

  • A washing machine

  • A car

  • A telephone."

Source: Office for National Statistics report, Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK and EU, 2005-2011