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Minority ethnic people worst hit by rising living costs

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

London London

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Londoners are those being hardest hit by rising living costs in the capital, a new report has revealed.

The study - 'London Cost of Living: Falling Further Behind' - also found that parents, low income workers and people with disabilities are amongst those worst affected by spiralling costs.

And over half of women in London believe their living standards have fallen in the past three years.

Two thirds of BAME Londoners believe that their living standards have declined in recent years and will continue to do so.

According to the report, the 10 hardest hit groups in the city are:

1. People from BAME backgrounds.
2. 40 to 49-year-olds.
3. Parents.
4. Low income workers.
5. People who rent their home.
6. People with disabilities.
7. 50 to 59-year-olds.
8. 30 to 39-year-olds.
9. Housing benefit claimants.
10. Inner Londoners.

The report's author, the London Assembly's Jennette Arnold OBE, is calling on Boris Johnson to take action and pilot an equality scorecard scheme at City Hall that would monitor data on inequalities across employment, education, criminal justice and health in London.

She is also calling for measures to reduce unemployment amongst young people and to boost the maternal employment rate in the capital.

Ms Arnold, London Assembly Labour Group equalities spokesperson, said: "Despite being one of the wealthiest cities in the world, the most vulnerable people in London are falling further behind the rest. The London cost-of-living survey shows that 9 out of 10 disabled Londoners are concerned about how to meet the rising costs of their energy bills; 92% of BAME Londoners worry about affording their travel expenses; and 75% of young people find it hard to pay their rent.

"It's unacceptable that vulnerable Londoners are bearing the brunt of the policies of the Mayor and the government. Boris is wrong to believe that inequality is natural or essential and this report gives firm recommendations that he can take to close the inequality gap in London.

The report found that 86% of young people think that London's public transport fares are too high.

BAME respondents were significantly more concerned about the rising cost of public transport in the capital compared with white respondents, with 73% of BAME respondents saying they are worried compared with 58% of white respondents.

92% of BAME respondents said that public transport is too expensive.

Research by Transport for London (TfL) found that the bus is the most common mode of public transport amongst ethnic minorities, particularly those of black ethnicity. They also found that 69% of BAME Londoners use the bus at least once a week compared to 56% of white Londoners.

London Assembly member Val Shawcross’ report ‘Fair Fares : Tackling high public transport fares in London’ found that in the last five years under the current mayor, bus fares have risen by 43.8% and up to an extra £278 has been added to the annual cost of bus fares for 28% of low income Londoners.

Ms Arnold added: "Today's report is a rebuttal to the Mayor's ludicrous claim that vulnerable people in society are 'cornflakes' that require inequality and envy to 'shake' them to the top. This report outlines just how misguided his 'cornflake economics' is and it is he that needs to be shaken into action. On Wednesday, the government will present its budget, four years in to their term, and the truth is stark, as we already know, we are not 'all in this together'.

"This report shows that it is those already marginalised who have been hit the hardest by the cuts.

"Rest assured, I will continue to challenge the Mayor, as I have always done, to address the inherent inequality across London and this report provides an excellent tool through which to continue the fight."

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