Londoners overwhelmingly see the cost of living as the biggest issue facing London

London Councils’ annual Survey of Londoners has found that more than three quarters of Londoners say cost of living is one of the biggest issues facing the capital, the highest level ever recorded in this survey. The findings also suggest that many Londoners are already starting to feel the financial strain.

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  • Lewis Hill Public Affairs
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More than two in five (41%) Londoners selected the cost of living as the most important issues facing the capital. Taking all issues into account, more than three in four (77%) of Londoners believe cost of living to be an important issue facing the capital, the highest level of concern for any issue ever recorded on this question in any previous London Councils Survey of Londoners.

The survey also reveals that around one in four (24%) of Londoners are already finding it difficult to manage financially these days. Around one in four Londoners say they are facing financial hardship, with women (31%), private renters (32%), social renters (41%), those from a minority ethnic background (32%), those with children (29%) and adults in social grade C2DE (38%) among those most likely to report financial hardship.

Many Londoners are particularly concerned about their ability to pay energy/utility bills (a cause of concern for more than two thirds of Londoners), unexpected bills or household expenses, food prices and rising housing costs.

The survey also found that while Londoners are no more likely to say they expect to leave the capital than in previous years, many renters report facing significant housing challenges in the capital. Three in five (59%) say their rent has increased this year, and a similar proportion (57%) expect their landlord to raise the rent substantially when they next renew their tenancy.

Londoners’ satisfaction with their local area and local council have held up well, changing very little since last year, and Londoners are marginally more likely to feel a stronger sense of belonging one year on from last year’s survey.

Looking ahead, many Londoners are confident that London will bounce back from the crisis (48% agree vs. 24% disagree).

However, more than half (52%) agree that the capital’s economy will become weaker over the next five years (20% disagree). Londoners are similarly pessimistic that public services will improve in the next five years (31% agree, 39% disagree), or that house prices will fall in London in the next two years (33% agree, 39% disagree).

Lewis Hill, Research Director at Ipsos, said:

Londoners’ levels of concern about the rising cost of living are higher than we have ever recorded in this survey, and it is clear that many Londoners, particularly those from less affluent backgrounds, are already finding it hard to make ends meet. The survey also paints a bleak picture of renters’ experiences in the capital, and while Londoners are bullish about the capital’s ability to bounce back from the crisis, there isn’t much optimism about the future of the London economy or public services. However, the mood among Londoners is resilient in some respects – they remain largely positive about their local area as a place to live, and they’re more likely to feel a strong sense of belonging to their local area than last year. Levels of satisfaction with local councils have held up well since before the pandemic, though the survey findings lay bare the challenges many councils will face in supporting those more vulnerable to the cost of living crisis.

Technical Note

  • Ipsos conducted an online survey of over 1,000 residents aged 18-75 living in Greater London using Ipsos’s Online Access Panel, a panel of pre-recruited individuals who have agreed to take part in research. Fieldwork took place between 27 October and 9 November 2022 inclusive.
  • Quotas were set by age, gender, work status and inner/outer London, with final data also weighted to these profiles along with housing tenure and ethnicity to match the profile of the wider London population.
  • London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all its member authorities regardless of political persuasion.



The author(s)
  • Lewis Hill Public Affairs

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