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Housing costs pushing 1m Londoners onto ‘relative low incomes’

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London rise low income

One million Londoners are forced to survive on relatively low incomes due to the city’s astronomically high housing costs, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Before accommodation costs were factored in, 1.2 million people in the capital, including 400,000 children, were categorised as having “relatively low income,” meaning they lived in households with income below 60% of the average for that year.

According to the House of Commons Library’s analysis of poverty in the United Kingdom, the number rises to 2.2 million when accommodation costs are accounted for, including 700,000 children.

The findings demonstrate that despite London’s relatively high revenues compared to other regions, the additional earnings are rapidly swallowed up by soaring rents and mortgage payments.

At 14%, the city and South East region had the lowest percentage of individuals with relative poor income before accommodation costs.

The West Midlands had the greatest rate of 22 percent, followed by the North East and East Midlands, both with 21 percent.

After housing costs, however, London leapt to the joint second greatest total number of people in such challenging financial situations, with 25% of the population affected, the same as the North East and second only to the West Midlands with 27%.

The study, which was based on an annual average for the three years leading up to 2021/22, also examined levels of “persistent low income,” or those who have been in “relatively low income” for three of the previous four years.

London had the highest rate of persistently low income after the rise in housing costs, at 16%, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, and the West Midlands, all at 14%, with the South East and South West having the lowest rates in Britain, at 10%.

Before the rise in housing costs, London and the South East had the lowest low income rate at 6%, while Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest at 13%.

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