Destitution in London- The Mayor of London calls on Government to support low income families

Our Destitution in the UK research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and boosted across London with funding from the Greater London Authority, sets out the scale of destitution in London.

We found that 440,000 Londoners, including 60,000 children, were destitute at some point in 2019 – meaning they had gone without two or more essentials like food, shelter, heating, or clothing in a single month.This was an increase of 28 per cent since 2017.  We found that those most at risk of destitution include those who have been worst hit by the economic and health consequences of the pandemic and we set out a series of recommendations specifically for London as well as those in the full Destitution in the UK report.

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot-Watt University, said: “People experiencing destitution in London are more likely than those destitute elsewhere in the UK to be homeless or living in very poor housing conditions. They also have less access to financial or in-kind support to help them eat, stay warm and dry, and keep clean. It is imperative that Local Welfare Assistance schemes are restored and expanded across London to provide the lifeline urgently needed for people experiencing these emergency situations.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is today calling on Government to continue the £20-a-week increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits which was brought in to help households deal with the impact of COVID-19, and extend it to other benefits to help Londoners who are most in financial need.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our city, but the Government’s increase to Universal Credit has provided a lifeline for thousands of Londoners who are struggling. And even before the pandemic, London had some of the highest levels of poverty in the whole country, and the fallout from the virus risks making this even worse. It’s vital that Ministers step forward to extend this support in next week’s Budget to prevent 100,000 more Londoners being driven into poverty. But they should also go much further and extend this uplift, remove the benefit cap and increase funding to local welfare schemes so that low-income households can get the support they need during this time of national crisis.”

For more information see our Destitution 2020 London Findings and the full Destitution in the UK report here.