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The Mayor of London The London Assembly

Labour Market

Raising Living Standards

London is an expensive city, with high land values driving up the costs of housing and a range of other essential services, such as childcare. Additionally, the infrastructure that exists was not designed for a city with the size and diversity of modern London. This leads to higher costs in some other aspects of life, particularly when travel and buying choices are limited.


Lowering the Cost of Living

The costs of living in London are high, and those on the lowest incomes can be forced to pay more for essential items, including, for example, fuel and basic goods, than those on higher incomes with access to more purchasing options.

  • Median income after housing costs has risen since the end of the recession to around £623 per week for a couple in London.
  • The costs of formal childcare are more than 25 per cent higher in London than elsewhere.
  • One in ten households in London have low income and live in accommodation with low energy efficiency.

Reducing Poverty

Poverty remains a real problem in London, with persistent poverty a particular issue for many individuals.

  • The percentage of Londoners in poverty has decreased only marginally over twenty years and stands at 24 per cent. As the population has grown, this represents an increase in the number of people to 2.2 million.
  • Around one in seven Londoners, including around one in five children, are in persistent poverty.
  • The proportion of London’s pensioners in material deprivation, at 12 per cent, is the highest among all the regions and countries in the UK, while Inner London has an even higher rate (20 per cent).
  • The number of individuals seen sleeping rough in London rose substantially last year, to over 10,000, continuing the long term trend, after a decline in 2021/22.
  • More than 56,000 homeless households were being housed by London’s local authorities in temporary accommodation at the end of March 2022.

Financial Inclusion

Too many Londoners are unable to access or afford the financial advice and products they need to manage everyday tasks, fully engage in society, and plan for the future. The levels of problem debt, unbanked or uninsured households and people who cannot access affordable credit are an issue that keeps part of the population trapped in poverty.

  • Only just over one in three families in London have savings of more than £1,500 – around the average monthly rent.
  • Around three in every one hundred adults do not have access to banking facilities.
  • Londoners are less likely to be declared bankrupt or have other insolvency arrangements than adults in the rest of the country.