Almost one third of Londoners are currently living in poverty, London’s Poverty Profile has identified. This is despite the fact that the capitals economy is currently the foundation behind economic recovery in the UK.
The study, commissioned by the New Policy Institute, illustrates that 28% of Londoners are currently impoverished which is over 7% than the rest of England.
It has been attributed to the high levels of unemployment amongst young people and the high cost of living across London.
7% of people in London are currently unemployed which represents a higher value than the UK average.
Furthermore the unemployment rate for people aged between 16-24 has increased by over 10% in the last decade with the value rising to a monumental 25%. During this period, more young people have begun living in London, but the rising costs of living has resulted in the poverty rate soaring.
The study has identified the term ‘poverty’ as any house that earns less than 60% of the UK’s median salary a year.
Rising cost of living
Monthly housing costs in London are currently far higher than the rest of the UK, with the cost of rent over double England’s average.
The current average rent in the UK is just under £500 which compares to the £950 people in suburban London pay and the £1300 on average people pay in the city.
It is estimated that almost 25% of houses within London are dependent on money gained from benefits in order to cover the costs of housing.
The study comes after the government recently implemented a reform in the benefits system, restricting the number of benefits available to the public and placing a limit on how much each household can acquire a month.
The change in the system coupled with the rising costs of living has resulted in a number of houses across the UK struggling to meet the expensive demands of living.
The head of Trust for London, Bharat Mehta, identified: “London’s economy may be doing better than the rest of the country but that obscures the fact it has the highest poverty rate.
“To tackle London’s poverty and inequality, policymakers must focus on solutions such as building more affordable housing and encouraging employers to pay a Living Wage.”
Mehta’s stance has been echoed by many commentators across the UK who have called for the government to help those with low income tackle the rising cost of living across the UK.
The minimum wage has recently risen to £6.31, but its rate of increase is currently far behind the rate of inflation, meaning that many are struggling to meet the demands of rising costs.
The study will surely provoke policymakers within the government to look at helping those in society who have the lowest of incomes as the youth is in danger of entering the working world at a huge disadvantage.
The Mayor of London’s office has yet to comment on the information but is expected to later on this week.