London is a global city, yet compared to other cities of its standing the cost of living in London is high. Londoners on average salaries spend 49% of their pay on rent, compared with 26% for those on average salaries outside the capital. The average extra costs for householders who are renting and using childcare is £6,000. Would-be homeowners in London need to earn £77,000 a year to get on the housing ladder. Across the UK, a first-time buyer needs a minimum income of £41,000.
The London Fairness Commission’s recommendations include:
- Immediate introduction of a London minimum wage of £9.70
- The Mayor should delay issuing the Freedom Pass from 60 to 65 years and means test it
- Action to make employers help more with childcare costs
- Public disclosure of pay ratio data from companies and public sector bodies based in London
- Ensure that companies registered offshore declare details of property ownership
- The Mayor of London to be given powers of compulsory purchase on land/properties owned by offshore companies who are unwilling to declare the name of the ultimate beneficial owner
- Suspension of right to buy for five years while supply is increased and provide a portable discount for those who have lived in social housing for 15 years
- Reduce or control the average cost of letting agents’ fees and charges
- Set ‘affordable rents’ to 30% of household income rather than 80% of market rent
- Tax land owners in London with planning permission for new homes who refuse to develop their land for longer than 3 years.
The London Fairness Commission’s Final Report