New study shows
New research from Loughborough University shows that 41 per cent of Londoners have less income than they need for what the public regard as a decent standard of living – that is one that allows them to meet their basic needs and participate in society at a minimum level. This is significantly higher than the 30 per cent that fall below the standard in the UK as a whole. This represents 3.5 million Londoners, an increase of 400,000 since 2010/11.
The new research, which is being launched tomorrow at City Hall, is funded by independent charity Trust for London, and updates the first Minimum Income Standard for London report published in 2015.
The single biggest change since the last MIS London report is the increased cost of private renting, especially for properties at the cheaper end of the market, which have increased four times as much as in the rest of the UK. This means that although single working-age adults in the rest of the UK have benefitted from the substantial pay boost of the National Living Wage (since its introduction in 2016), singles in London are actually less able to afford a decent standard of living than previously. Families who cannot access social housing, and have to rent privately, have also seen their situation worsen over the last two years.
Matt Padley from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University said: “This research is based on asking Londoners to look in detail at what is needed to lead a decent life. The findings can help policymakers explore the impact of particular costs in London. For example, people may say a rent is unaffordable to someone on a particular income but what does that mean? You need to know how much people need, after paying their rent, to afford the other basics of life. This research provides those figures.
“What it clearly shows is that in the capital it costs more to have a minimum decent standard of living – driven largely by higher rents, more expensive childcare and the higher cost of transport. It costs around 20 per cent more for families with children to reach this standard in London, but can increase to over 50 per cent in Inner London if families don’t have access to social housing and have to rent privately. This is why action like the Mayor’s commitment to provide more affordable housing is so desparately needed.”
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