Laura Sharman 21 April 2020

London has highest poverty rates, report shows

London has greater levels of poverty than any other region in the UK, new figures have revealed today.

London’s Poverty Profile (LPP) shows that even before Covid-19, the capital was struggling with the rise of in-work poverty, huge inequalities in wealth and shared opportunities, higher costs of living, and an increase of poverty in the private rented sector.

The report, commissioned by Trust for London and produced by WPI Economics, warns that pandemics disproportionately affect those most disadvantaged.

Bharat Mehta, chief executive at Trust for London, said: ‘London’s Poverty Profile has been tracking poverty and inequality in London since 2009. Each year its publication is an opportunity to reflect on the nature of poverty and inequality in the city, to assess trends and identify how life for low-income Londoners might be changing.

’But everything has changed with coronavirus. Households from across the income spectrum are in the precipice; many will have fallen over by the time this crisis ends. More people will be unemployed, relying on the safety net of social security. More evictions, despite the government’s promises, are highly likely.’

Cllr Muhammed Butt, London Councils’ executive member for welfare, empowerment and inclusion, said: ‘Too many Londoners already live lives plagued by insecurity, including low-wage work and homelessness, but Covid-19 has only ramped up the pressures further. We’re extremely worried by the relationship between coronavirus and health inequalities, with emerging data suggesting a particularly severe impact on BAME communities.’

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