Cost of living crisis: Londoners worse hit than UK average, City Hall data shows
20% of lower-income Londoners have regularly or occasionally gone without food in the last six months, YouGov research revealed.
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It comes as YouGov research revealed 20% of lower-income Londoners have regularly or occasionally gone without food, essentials or relied on outside support in the last six months.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a series of emergency measures to tackle the crisis, including:
- Free minimum energy tariffs for vulnerable households;
- A two-year rent freeze;
- Extending free school meals to all primary school children;
- Restoring the Universal Credit £20 uplift;
- Increasing all benefits in line with inflation;
- And removing all benefit caps.
He said: “Millions of low paid Londoners are living on the front line of the cost of living crisis.
“Whoever becomes the next prime minister must make tackling the cost of living for Londoners – and people across the country – their top priority.”
YouGov also found the number of Londoners hit by cost of living rises is going up monthly.
Nearly a third say they are “just about managing” and almost one in five are “financially struggling”, the polling company said.
Asian and black Londoners, those earning less than £20,000 a year, renters, and deaf and disabled Londoners are most likely to be suffering, the research found.
Mr Khan added: “I’m doing all I can to support Londoners, but we need the government to step up.
“This must include doing more on energy bills to ensure no one has to make the choice this winter of heating their home or eating, increasing benefits in line with inflation, and giving me the power to implement rent controls in London.”
Rising local food costs are a key pressure on Londoners pushing inflation above the national average, while new rental prices are growing faster than in the rest of the UK, up by 15.8%.
However, Londoners are likely to spend less on energy compared to the rest of the UK due to warmer weather and smaller property sizes due to high housing costs.
A minimum energy tariff, dubbed a ‘lifeline’ for the most vulnerable Londoners, would provide the minimum energy needed for a household to function for free.
Charges would kick in only once a minimum use threshold had been met.
City Hall says this would help ensure “people would not need to choose between heating and eating this winter”.
While the mayor also said a two-year rent freeze for London’s 2.4m private renters would be a first step towards full rent control powers to cool London’s overheated private rental sector.
Estimates show this would save renters an average of £2,988.
A government spokesperson said: “Countries around the world are grappling with rising prices but we recognise that inflation is causing significant challenges for families in London and across the UK, which is why we are phasing in £37bn worth of help for households throughout the year.
“That includes direct payments of at least £1,200 for eight million of the most vulnerable households, alongside tax cuts and a reduction in the Universal Credit taper rate to help people keep more of what they earn.
“We are making necessary preparations to ensure a new government will have options to deliver additional support as quickly as possible.”