The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today urged the Government to focus on tackling the spiralling cost of living and stop this becoming a national disaster, as a new poll reveals that 20 per cent of lower-income Londoners have regularly or occasionally gone without food or essential items or relied on outside support in the last six months.
The research found that the number of Londoners being hit by the rising cost of living is also going up every month, with nearly a third saying they are ‘just about managing’ and almost one in five ‘financially struggling’.
Those being hit the hardest and most likely to say they are financially struggling are Asian and Black Londoners, those with an income of less than £20,000, renters and Deaf and Disabled Londoners.
The polling, which was published today, shows:
- One in five Londoners earning less than £20,000 have regularly or occasionally gone without food or essential items or relied on outside support, with more than one in three buying less food and essentials overall, and one in 10 going without essentials.
- More than one in 10 Londoners (12 per cent) say they have regularly or occasionally been unable to buy food or essential items or relied on outside support in the last six months.
- 90 per cent of Londoners say their cost of living has increased over the last six months, with 52 per cent saying it has increased a lot.
- Nearly a third (30 per cent) of Londoners say they are ‘just about managing’ and almost one in five (19 per cent) are ‘financially struggling’.
- Nearly a third of Black Londoners (31 per cent), a quarter of Asian Londoners (24 per cent), and nearly a third of Deaf and Disabled Londoners (31 per cent) are financially struggling.
- Black Londoners are nearly three times more likely to have fallen behind on rent or mortgage bills, with Deaf and Disabled Londoners 1.7 times more likely, and Asian Londoners more than one a half times more likely.
- Paying energy bills is the top concern for Londoners (41 per cent), followed by wages not matching rising prices (31 per cent), then affording other household bills (26 per cent)
- To try to manage the increasing costs, 47 per cent of Londoners are buying cheaper products, 46 per cent are spending less on non-essentials, and 35 per cent are using less water, energy or fuel
The data was published today as the Mayor visited the Newham Food Alliance warehouse hub run by the Council, which collects food and passes it on to foodbanks across the borough. He also spoke to users of a local foodbank.
Sadiq is doing all he can to offer support to Londoners and is spending more than £80m this year to help those struggling with the rising cost of living. That includes 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 and better paid work, and last month announced £2.3m to help vital advice services, London Citizens Advice and London Legal Support Trust (LLST), to reach more Londoners, as part of his £5m package to help Londoners access welfare advice.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I’m determined to build a better, fairer London for everyone, but the spiralling cost of living is hitting Londoners harder every single month and, with no sign of this rise in costs slowing down, I’m hugely concerned about the impact that this will have across our city.
“I’m committed to doing all I can to provide support Londoners but with increasing numbers struggling to get by and food and energy prices spiralling out of control, more urgent action is needed.
“With the prospect of a bleak winter ahead, the Government must not neglect the needs of those in our capital. Ministers must act now to help prevent this cost of living crisis becoming a national disaster.”