Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Research in Social Policy

A Minimum Income Standard for London

Households in London face special challenges making ends meet.  Costs such as housing, transport and childcare are different from the rest of the United Kingdom.  The way Londoners live is also distinctive, most obviously in how they travel and in accommodation patterns, but also in ways such as shopping and leisure.

At the same time, a higher proportion of Londoners have relatively low incomes than any other region in the country.  Measures of poverty in London are able to take account of low income, and to a limited extent of certain costs such as higher rents or mortgages, but provide an incomplete picture of the different costs faced by households in London compared to elsewhere in the United Kingdom.  This is because there is no evidenced description of what it means to have a minimum acceptable living standard particular to living in London.

In 2015, CRSP published a Minimum Income Standard for London which, for the first time, outlined the amount that different types of household, in Inner and Outer London, require in order to reach an acceptable standard of living as defined by members of the public. Based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), the research drew on a range of data about costs in London, but at its heart were the detailed discussions with groups of Londoners about what goods and services households need to be able to buy, and how this differs from what people require in the rest of the UK.

In 2016/2017, we returned to London to undertake detailed discussions with groups of parents living in Inner and Outer London. These groups, comprising eight to ten members of the public, were tasked with reviewing the additional or different requirements parents and children in London have compared to people in the rest of the UK. A Minimum Income Standard for London 2016/17 shows that the cost of a minimum socially acceptable standard of living is between 18% and 56% more in London compared to the rest of the UK.  These additional costs faced by Londoners are largely the result of the higher price of housing, childcare and transport in the capital, with private rents, for example, having increased at a far faster rate within London between 2014-16 compared to the rest of the UK.  These costs combine to make the capital a more expensive place to live, meaning Londoners need more than those living outside of London in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.

 

Centre for Research
in Social Policy

Department of Social Sciences
Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

+44 (0)1509 223372

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