London Fairness Commission
The London Fairness Commission has published it’s Final Report, following the first inquiry into ‘fairness’ in the capital for 125 years. The release of the Final Report was marked by an event at the Deck of the National Theatre and included a ‘job interview’ for candidates for Mayor of London.
The London Fairness Commission report considers a ‘ticking time bomb’ – how London’s future success will be undermined if current problems are not resolved – and presents recommendations, including ones relating to the cost of living and housing.
"London’s future success is at risk if we do not address the cost of living for modern day Londoners – costs, such as housing, transport and childcare, are higher in London. Londoners on average salaries spend nearly half their pay on rent, compared with a quarter for those on average salaries outside the Capital. While Londoners do earn more on average, that extra sum goes nowhere near bridging gap. There is now a danger that London will become a playground for the super-rich, a treadmill for the middle-classes and a workhouse for the poor."
London is a global city, yet compared to other cities of its standing the cost of living in London is high. Londoners on average salaries spend 49% of their pay on rent, compared with 26% for those on average salaries outside the capital. The average extra costs for householders who are renting and using childcare is £6,000. Would-be homeowners in London need to earn £77,000 a year to get on the housing ladder. Across the UK, a first-time buyer needs a minimum income of £41,000.
The London Fairness Commission’s recommendations include:
- Immediate introduction of a London minimum wage of £9.70
- The Mayor should delay issuing the Freedom Pass from 60 to 65 years and means test it
- Action to make employers help more with childcare costs
- Public disclosure of pay ratio data from companies and public sector bodies based in London
- Ensure that companies registered offshore declare details of property ownership
- The Mayor of London to be given powers of compulsory purchase on land/properties owned by offshore companies who are unwilling to declare the name of the ultimate beneficial owner
- Suspension of right to buy for five years while supply is increased and provide a portable discount for those who have lived in social housing for 15 years
- Reduce or control the average cost of letting agents’ fees and charges
- Set ‘affordable rents’ to 30% of household income rather than 80% of market rent
- Tax land owners in London with planning permission for new homes who refuse to develop their land for longer than 3 years.
The London Fairness Commission would also like to see the start of a new ‘philanthropic age’ and believes that the time is ripe for London’s wealthiest residents and businesses to come together in an exemplary social philanthropic effort – a ‘Peabody’ moment for the 21st Century.
This is the first time in 125 years – since Charles Booth mapped the levels of wealth and poverty across London in 1889, coining the phrase ‘the poverty line’ in the process – that a special commission has analysed the ‘fairness’ of London.
You may also be interested in
The health of migrants in the UK
Managing the unmanageable: debt and economic resilience in Newham
Social vs Affordable Housing
Council Tax Support by borough
Neighbourhood planning: the London experience
Reflecting on our 2018 grant making
The Commission on Social Security led by Experts by Experience
London Child Poverty Alliance
From our Twitter
A new report says that elderly people living in the UK suffer some of the highest levels of poverty in western Europe. Our @PovertyLondon data shows that 19% of London’s pensioners live below the poverty line, higher than anywhere else in England (14%) http://bit.ly/2P6l76w20 Aug 2019
@theguitarsocial turned to the crowd to support their mission of using guitar lessons to help isolated and vulnerable communities £11,628 by the crowd £10,000 from @trustforlondon @GWR for longest guitar lesson http://Crowdfunder.co.uk/guitar-social20 Aug 2019
Low-income groups will be disproportionately affected by rises in the price of food and fuel according to a government document outlining the likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit http://bit.ly/2ZetZXE20 Aug 2019
Thanks @trustforlondon for your commitment to tackle poverty and inequality in #London . Special thanks for supporting our project at @RProgramme working with migrants in #Newham offering legal advice and practical support when people need it most. #CharityTuesday https://twitter.com/trustforlondon/status/1163344344230711296 …20 Aug 2019