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 over £420 per week for a couple in London
  • The costs of formal childcare are around 30 per cent higher in London than elsewhere.
  • Around one in ten households in London has low income but high fuel costs.

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 28 per cent. This represents the highest ever number of people, at 2.4 million.
  • Around one in six Londoners, including nearly one in four children, are in persistent poverty.
  • The proportion of London’s pensioners in material deprivation, at 15 per cent, is double the rate for the UK as a whole.
  • The number of individuals seen sleeping rough in London fell last year, to less than 7,500, reversing the trend of the previous decade.

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 forty per cent of 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.