2.3 million Londoners in poverty despite record low unemployment, new report finds

Over half of those in poverty are in working families, a damning inditement of work in Tory Britain.

Over a quarter of Londoners live in poverty — and a record 58 per cent of this figure are in working families, an increase of 44 per cent a decade ago —  a new report by the Trust for London has found.

1.4 million working-age adults (24%), 700,000 children (37%) and 200,000 pensioners (19%) in London live in poverty, the annual report found. The poverty rate in London is 27% compared with 21% in the rest of England, it found.

The number of people in poverty in London (2.3m) has remained around the same for the past five years despite unemployment in the capital dropping by almost half, raising grave questions about ‘in-work poverty’. The report says:

“For the majority of the 2.3 million Londoners in poverty, work is not enough to help them avoid financial struggle.”

“The majority of people living in poverty (58%) are living in a working family, the highest this figure has ever been. This figure was 44% a decade earlier and 24% two decades ago. Around 70% of children in poverty in London are in a working family.”

“In addition, for many, work has become less stable. In 2016, the number of workers in London on temporary contracts was at an all-time high at 260,000 with one in three (33%) on a temporary contract wanting a permanent one, this is still above pre-recession levels of around one in four.”

In addition to ballooning ‘in-work’ poverty in the capital, inequality in terms of wealth distribution is also increasing.

The amount of wealth held by the bottom tenth of households has fallen by third in the last decade, whilst the figure is 2 per cent for England as a whole, the report found.

In London wealth for someone in the top 10% is now 295 times higher than someone in the bottom 10%. In 2010–12 it was 160 times higher – so the richest 10 per cent have almost doubled their relative wealth. Mubin Haq, Director of Policy and Grants at Trust for London said:

“London remains highly unequal, home to many billionaires as well as millions who are struggling to make ends meet… In relation to wealth, inequality has grown significantly.”

“The reality remains, that for many work does not pay enough, or offer the security that people need. We need more action to increase wages and improve good work standards if poverty is to further reduce.”

Despite all the Tory bluster about cutting unemployment and ‘making work pay’, reports like the one released today show that our economy is failing millions of hardworking people — work simply isn’t paying off for an increasing number in Britain.

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One Response to “2.3 million Londoners in poverty despite record low unemployment, new report finds”

  1. Susan Calvo

    It feels to me, that the Tories do not want us ‘the common working people’, to be in London…. Everything feels set up to squeeze people out….

    It feels clearer why they like Zero Hour Contracts (which are NOT a CONTRACT at all) – 1) it ‘lowers’ the Tory unemployment figures, (this is for appearance sake only,) and 2) means people just cannot afford to pay rent, and sustain a basic, and I mean BASIC, way of life….
    How many jobs my granddaughter went through, that started out with them saying, when she asked the, ‘yes, it is a full-time job’…. LIARS, when after between 6 & 12 weeks, the work hours got dropped lower and lower to between 12 & 16 hours a week. Who can live off that when you have £580 a month rent, before travel, bills,, food etc. ….NO-ONE. The Zero Hour Contract also suits employees, as they don’t have to sack anyone, their workers have no rights, they just lower the hours and someone will invariable leave. This is a double-whammy for the Tories, because if you voluntarily leave your job, you are not entitled to any benefit help, I believe it is for up to 6 months, though they may have changed that to be an even longer period of time by now.
    Blimey, I could go on & on, but I will leave it at that for now….

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