New research shows that a third of Londoners do not earn enough to uphold what is widely recognised as a decent standard of living.
43% of people in families with children, and a quarter of working age adults do not have enough income to meet the minimum living standards, according to research, by Loughborough University and Trust For London.
Using public opinion about what constitutes a decent standard of living, researchers considered the minimum to be food, shelter and clothing, plus items such as a child’s birthday present or a cheap meal out up to twice a month.
While a one bedroom flat was seen as the minimum standard for a single person in other parts of the UK, Londoners' standards were even lower, with a studio flat being the minimum they expected to be able to afford — for which a single Londoner has to earn at least £24,500 a year, says the research.
The study says it can cost 20-50% more to live in London than in other parts of the country due to high costs of transport, childcare and housing, the report says. Since 2008, rent in London has risen by approximately a third, childcare costs by nearly two-thirds and public transport fares by a quarter. In the same period, the average earnings have risen by only 10%.
Mubin Haq, director of policy and grants at Trust for London, said:
"This is not about just food, clothing and having a roof over your head. It’s about the difference between people being able to participate in society or not. It raises important questions about whether London is for everyone or does it become a city for the wealthiest."
Londoners in particular endure higher living costs than in other parts of the country for several reasons. Not least of which is the high cost of public transport, which for families (who have to buy multiple tickets) can even be more expensive than owning a car in another part of the country.
Socialising is more expensive for Londoners too, not only because restaurants and bars here are more expensive than elsewhere, but because our restricted living space means that we are more inclined to go out to socialise, rather than having friends over.
Read the full report here.