Nearly half of Londoners ‘struggling financially or just about managing’
lmost half of Londoners are struggling financially or “just about managing” due to the cost of living crisis, a City Hall survey has revealed.
The YouGov poll, commissioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan, suggests many Londoners are in a worse situation than a year ago – but matters have improved slightly since the summer.
However, private renters are now significantly more likely to say they are “financially struggling”.
Among those battling to pay their bills, 65 per cent say they are buying less food and essential items – more than double the 29 per cent average of all Londoners.
But the survey, of 1,273 adults last month and published on Thursday, did not ask about the impact of rising council tax bills and transport costs – despite such questions having been asked in previous surveys.
Tube and bus fares, which are set by the mayor, increased on Sunday by 5.9 per cent, while Mr Khan is adding £38.55 to average council tax bills from April – both the biggest percentage rises since he became mayor.
Compared with February last year, the number of respondents saying they were “coping OK financially” slipped from 35 per cent to 33 per cent, while those “just about managing” increased from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.
Those who were financially struggling rose from 14 per cent to 17 per cent, while those describing themselves as “comfortable financially” dropped from 18 per cent to 14 per cent.
Mr Khan said the results showed the need for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to provide more help for those most in need in next week’s Budget, including low energy tariffs for the most vulnerable.
He said the introduction of free school meals for all primary school pupils in London should be extended nationwide.
Mr Khan said: “The cost of living crisis continues to bite and millions of Londoners are crying out for more support from the Government in the Spring Budget.
“The fact remains that the capital is home to some of the most deprived communities in the country, and it is deeply worrying that 47 per cent of Londoners are now either financially struggling or just about managing to make ends meet.”