New London's Poverty Profile reveals one million now live in low-income families

A new London's Poverty Profile report has been published updating a wide range of indicators on housing, work, health and income poverty to assess what has changed since the first report in 2009.

It reveals that over one million people now live in low-income families where at least one adult is working: an increase of 60% over the last decade.

The poorest 50% have less than 5% of financial or property wealth and the richest 10%
have 40% of income wealth, 45% of property wealth and 65% of financial wealth.

The number of unemployed Londoners is now above 400,000, the highest number
since 1996, and the rate is rising more quickly than the national average.

The report includes a new section on services including GPs, primary schools and transport.

The key findings are:

Since the original report in 2009, child poverty has fallen in London, while working-age
poverty has risen. The number of children and working-age adults in in-work poverty
grew. Over one million people now live in low-income families where at least one adult
is working, an increase of 60% over the last decade.

Housing costs are critical in explaining why London has the highest poverty rates of all
England’s regions. Taking account of housing costs, the poverty rate in London is 28%,
compared to 22% in the rest of England, and the gap has grown in the last decade.

220,000 households live in overcrowded accommodation, 60,000 more than a decade
ago with most of this increase in the private rented sector.

The proportion of households in temporary accommodation has nearly halved
since 2005 and has fallen since the last report but is still 10 times higher than the
English average. London now accounts for 75% of all households in temporary
accommodation in England, and most are housed in the private rented sector.

Housing benefit changes mean many parts of Inner London, particularly the Inner West,
may become unaffordable for low-income families renting privately. Outer London
boroughs, with cheaper housing, often have lower levels of public services per head: 8 of
the 10 primary care trusts with the fewest GPs per population are in Outer London and
35% of Outer London primary schools are full or overcrowded, compared to 19% in Inner
London.

The poorest 50% have less than 5% of financial or property wealth. The richest 10%
have 40% of income wealth, 45% of property wealth and 65% of financial wealth.

The number of unemployed Londoners is now above 400,000, the highest number
since 1996, and the rate is rising more quickly than the national average. In total
900,000 working-age adults were either unemployed, economically inactive but
wanting a job, or in a part-time job because they could not find a full-time one.

The unemployment rate among young people is at its highest level for nearly 20 years
(23%) and is still rising. Despite, on average, being better qualified than other young
people in the rest of England, young Londoners are more likely to be unemployed.

The number of low-paid jobs has increased by 60,000 since 2005 and now numbers
470,000, although the proportion of jobs which are low-paid remains the same at 1 in
7. Nearly 50% of young adults are paid less than the London Living Wage.

Educational attainment continues to improve and children eligible for free school meals
in London are more likely to attain minimum developmental and educational standards
at age 5, 11 and 16 than similarly poor children in the rest of England.

Poor children in London are more likely to lack everyday items than those outside
London, with 60% of children in low-income families unable to afford a week’s holiday.

Babies born in Southwark, Croydon, Haringey and Harrow are twice as likely to die
before their 1st birthday as those born in Bromley, Kingston and Richmond.

In response, Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: "This valuable, in-depth report is the latest to spell out the extent and the depth of poverty facing London's children.

"With over 600,000 children in poverty, the capital's children have the worst start in life than children in any other region and many will never fully recover from the impact this will have on their childhoods and life chances. As London families get increasingly squeezed between rocketing living costs and stagnant or falling incomes, politicians cannot just stand by and watch.

"In particular, we need real action to stop the ranks of London's working poor swelling even further.

"Better financial support for those on low wages, affordable childcare and better part time opportunities are essential so parents can have jobs they can raise a family on."

To download the report go: here

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