The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today urged the Government to immediately increase benefits and provide free school meals to all primary schoolchildren to help Londoners through the winter, as the spiralling cost of living is leaving the most vulnerable at crisis point.
Sadiq is calling for Government to step forward and support struggling Londoners, following last week’s Autumn Statement which disproportionately impacted the least well-off and research which exposes the extent of the cost of living crisis.
Across the capital Londoners are struggling to afford food, pay bills and are unsure about how they will cope in the coming months. The latest research shows:
- Eight per cent of Londoners are occasionally going without food and six per cent are regularly going without food.
- 18 per cent of Londoners are financially struggling, with nearly one in three (32 per cent) just about managing.
- 86 per cent of Londoners who say they are experiencing financial hardship think they will struggle to meet payments for their regular household shop in the next six months.
Today, the Mayor visited London’s Community Kitchen in Harrow to see the incredible work that it is doing to feed thousands of families across the capital, providing cooking skills to young people and teaching children about sustainability and nutrition.
The kitchen – which was founded in 2014 and has expanded to help people in Brent, Barnet, Hounslow, Enfield and Harrow – works alongside councils and charities to use surplus food to provide food crates for families, host a sustainable café, a community garden and a teaching kitchen all promoting zero waste and zero hunger.
The Mayor is doing all he can to help Londoners cope during the cost of living crisis as part of his work to build a better London for everyone, which includes investing £3.46bn over the next four years into building the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need.
He is spending more than £80m this year to help those struggling with the rising cost of living, including more than £50m to tackle fuel poverty through the Mayor’s Warmer Homes programme and energy advice services, more than £20m to improve security for private renters and house Londoners who are rough sleeping or homeless, more than £5m to connect Londoners with welfare advice, and £400,000 to tackle food insecurity.
He is also spending £400m this year on skills and employment programmes to support Londoners to find more secure.
However, further action is needed from Government to support Londoners through the winter, and Sadiq continues to lobby Ministers to introduce the benefits increase immediately, to provide free school meals to all primary school children and introduce a ‘Lifeline Tariff’ to the most vulnerable to provide a minimum of domestic energy use before charges begin.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “The spiralling cost of living is hitting Londoners very hard and without urgent action from the Government millions of people will be wondering how they will cope this winter.
“London’s Community Kitchen is doing incredible work to help thousands of families get by every single week but the level of demand it faces is a national disgrace and it only looks set to get worse in the coming months.
“I’m doing all I can to support Londoners and try to build a fairer and more prosperous city for all Londoners, but Government needs to step forward with action now and use the powers it has to ensure that the most vulnerable are helped this winter and not abandoned to deal with this crisis alone.”