Rich Londoners are getting richer while the poor get poorer

The richest 10 per cent of Londoners were a quarter richer in 2010/12 than before the recession, bucking the trend for the rest of the capital's workers

 

New analysis by LSE academics has shown that the capital’s economic success following the recession has come at the price of increased income inequality for Londoners.

Taking housing costs into consideration, the richest 10 per cent of Londoners were a quarter wealthier in 2010/12 in terms of income than they were before the recession, whereas the poorest 10 per cent lost nearly a fifth of their net income over a similar period.

Between 2007/8 and 2012/13, incomes fell for most Londoners. Median income fell by three per cent before housing costs, and 11 per cent including housing costs. Londoners near the top of the wealth distribution were not only richer in terms of income than their counterparts elsewhere, but 26 per cent richer than in 2006/8.

The poorest 10 per cent of Londoners were worse off than their counterparts around the country, with a weekly household income of £112 after housing costs compared to £161 nationally.

Incomes of the poorest 10 per cent of Londoners living in privately rented accommodation in 2012/13 were up to 53 per cent lower in real terms after housing costs than their equivalents in 2007/8.

The situation has also got worse for disabled people. LSE’s estimates suggest that in 2007/8, the poorest 10 per cent of Londoners with a longstanding illness or disability had a weekly income of less than £141 after housing costs. By 2012/13, best estimates suggest that this figure was at £100, representing a fall of 29 per cent, or £41 a week. This fall is much more pronounced than anywhere else in the UK.

Low pay emerged from the analysis as an increasing problem – the proportion of London workers who earned less than the London Living Wage (LLW) increased from 17 per cent in 2007/8 to 23 per cent in 2012/13. There are also troubling ethnic inequalities where low pay is concerned – 47 per cent of Bangladeshi workers 44 per cent of Pakistani workers and 31 per cent of African, Caribbean or Black British workers were paid less than the LLW in 2012/13,  

Dr Polly Vizard,  the author of the report, said:

“Our examination of detailed data on the position of different population groups up to 2012/13 suggests that economic outcomes for some of the poorest, lowest paid and most at risk Londoners deteriorated in the wake of the economic crisis and subsequent downturn, whilst wealth at the top of the distribution grew, and inequality against some indicators increased.

“As the 2015 General Election and 2016 Mayoral Elections approach, the findings show that disadvantage and inequality in the capital are major challenges for whoever gains power”.

Bharat Mehta OBE, chief executive of the charity Trust for London which funded the research, said:

“To start closing the gap and to tackle poverty, we need to address the issue of housing, which for many in London is their single biggest cost of living. Quite simply, we need more homes in London – to rent and to buy.

“These homes need to be affordable, with affordability linked to something sensible such as people’s incomes. We must challenge the view that has grown up in this country of property primarily being an asset rather than a home and a basic human need.”

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

16 Responses to “Rich Londoners are getting richer while the poor get poorer”

  1. Tyler

    Immediate fail: comparing income with wealth.

  2. charles

    I can’t be confident about “wealth” and when you are talking about “income”. They are different things. Got the feeling you may be talking about wealth (“wealthiest”) when you mean highest earner. If not, as Tyler says, the comparison isn’t the right one to make. If you are, then the article needs a re-write.

    Also “median incomes”? It’s the median income – singular.

  3. PT

    Seems to me the poor should be helped by the government to invest in property.

  4. Tyler

    Who is wealthier? My retired parents, with little income but a house worth around 1m (having bought it for 10k 40 something years ago) or the next door neighbours, renting a near identical house but both earning large salaries?

  5. Kathryn

    Well the neighbours will probably never own a property in the area or similar.

    Do your parents need to be living in the same family-sized home 40 years on?

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    Why? What’s wrong with council housing – providing decent long-term solutions rather than seeing housing snapped up by large owners when the poor lose their jobs or there’s a downturn…

  7. pjt

    The OP is comparing development of wealth and of income, which is apples and oranges. So the investments by the poor are a fairly relevant issue.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    And I was commenting on your post.

  9. Simon

    That is none of your business.

  10. Faerieson

    If one were a conspiracy theorist one could easily conclude that the coalition has used the recession as a smokescreen, behind which to hasten inequality. I would imagine that those in the cabinet also feature in the ‘benefitting 10%. The much-hated NHS has also taken a massive hit!

    If one were a conspiracy theorist…

  11. Monad Unimundal

    In order for the European Union to exist, MIT came over in 2000 to rationalise the banking system. Biometric ID’s woud have hastened the new union but people objected. The banking chaos was socially engineered as the rich got richer, the middle class was decimated and the poor became poorer. The goal was to unify the new created reality of a federal ‘trading complex’ and the infrastructures needed to be ‘normalised’. This exposed all the ‘custom & practice’ corruption unique to each member state in the EU. The rich became richer by 25% and the poor lost 30% . With 58% of the global population living in cities, the plan for the UK is to make two mega cities of 15 Million each in London and up north (Manchester/Leeds/Newcastle/Sheffield. The HS2 ( a global initiative fm Beijing to London/Moscow/NYC/Argentina/Africa) & the HS3 will link the UK/EU with the ‘outside’ world and open up the UK to further ‘International’ investment and further the ‘federal infrastructure being imposed on the planet ! The UN & WTO have united to create ITCs ( International Trading Centres) with ITCs in Liverpool and the Chinese ITC headquarters in London on 35 acres attached to Canary Wharf. G. Brown stated ” In order to fight global terrorism, a world government is needed”. Welcome to a brave new world…….

  12. sarntcrip

    IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN NATIONAL SECURITY WHILE THE RUSSIANS ARE FLEXING THEIR MUsCLES, NOTHING MUST BE DONE TO DESTABILIZE OUR EUROPEAN AND THUS OUR NATO ALLIANCES WITH FOOLISH AND DRACONIAN TORY DEFENCE CUTS WE NEED TO KEEP THE FRIENDS WE HAVE A EU EXIT NOW WOULD BE MUSIC TO THE EARS OF PUTIN SORRY CAPS LOCK ERROR

  13. sarntcrip

    PRESUMEABLY THEY PAID FOR IT OR RENTED IT ALL THAT TIME

  14. ian brunsdon

    The problem with social or council homes is the rich do not own them so for some crazy YOU HAVE IT I WANT IT stupid ass reason like big kids they want it.But the time is getter more closer than we think when the rich elite are cast aside and left in fantasy land and the real world continues like NORMAL!

  15. ian brunsdon

    Yes it is.

  16. Leon Wolfeson

    No need for conspiracy theories.
    The entire point of austerity is to shrink GDP, after all. – and the actions of this government are clear.

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