Living standards in London

Meeting: 
MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Reference: 
2017/5157
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

What is your assessment of the impact of the November Budget on Londoners' living standards?

Answer

Answer for Living standards in London

Answer for Living standards in London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I felt the Chancellors Autumn budget was the most anti London in a generation, and did not do anywhere near enough to improve the living standards of Londoners.

London needs to build 66,000 homes every year in order to meet the needs of its growing population. The budget failed to offer a long-term commitment to increasing funding to the levels needed, and did not offer the capital any significant new powers to get building. The Chancellor did not announce a penny of extra grant funding for affordable housing in London - even though we know the current spending is less than a fifth of what we need.

In his Autumn Budget the Chancellor did announce some freezes that will help improve living standards, including to fuel duty. However, there was no mention of a freeze to rail fares, and the Government has now announced that rail fares will in fact rise by 3.4 per cent from January 2018. With so many of London's residents and workforce using nationally regulated train services this is likely to have a significant impact. This is why I have frozen the fares that TfL has control over.

The increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) to £7.83 an hour from April 2018 is undoubtedly a boost to earnings for low-paid Londoners, but it falls far short of the new voluntary London Living Wage rate of £10.20, independently calculated to reflect the higher costs of living in the capital.

I'm doing everything possible within my powers to improve London's dangerously polluted air. I believe the Budget missed an opportunity to provide sufficient funding to help local authorities to take action on air quality and mitigate the impacts on businesses, residents and drivers. The Government needs to urgently bring forward proposals for a diesel scrappage fund to help ordinary people and businesses have the cleanest vehicles possible.