A data led investigation into the
causes and consequences of poverty in London

Trust-for-London-low-income-Londoners-project
Policy in Practice is bringing councils together to change the way we think about poverty. Our work observing the living standards of half a million households in London, over two years, shows that:

  • Poverty is not static: Almost one-third of households moved into or out of work in the first year
  • Financial resilience must take expenditure into account: This captures more households in work and who need support
  • London has many self employed workers at risk of poverty: A quarter of all London households in work are self employed, nearly 80% will lose more than £4,000 a year under Universal Credit
  • Households affected by the Benefit Cap are 3.5% more times likely to move into work

The project demonstrates what can be revealed when local authorities collaborate with their data. Tracking households over time allows policymakers to understand what support is effective. The evidence base we’ve developed is now a powerful tool, capable of influencing central government. Our approach is proven and deserves wider application.

Headine findings

  • Outer London boroughs are more heavily impacted by welfare reforms
  • An effective measure of living standards should take needs into account
  • Tracking employment patterns shows disability is the greatest barrier
  • The benefit cap disproportionally affecs temporary accommodation

Headline findings

  • 78% of self-employed households on low-income in London earn less than the National Living Wage; they’ll be £344 per month worse off under Universal Credit’s Minimum Income Floor
  • 91% of London households currently earn below the Minimum Income Floor. 78% are self-employed 13 months or more – longer than the proposed grace period – and will be affected by the MIF should UC be rolled out today
  • The average gap between their earnings and the MIF threshold is £845 per month, the equivalent of an additional 26 hours per week, at the hourly rate of £7.50 (National Living Wage)

Related blog posts

About the project

Data can tell us what impact national and local policies are having on low income households and help us design interventions that work better for people.

Local authorities hold valuable data sets that, analysed intelligently, can give insights to help better understand the drivers of poverty in their area. This knowledge helps them meet the legal responsibility they have to support their most vulnerable people.

Supported by Trust for London Policy in Practice has embarked on an ambitious project to track changing living standards for almost one million Londoners. Combining anonymised household level data sets from councils across London we are tracking income, employment and poverty for half a million low income households over two years, on a monthly basis.

Phases One and Two of the 18 month project are now complete. To date we’ve combined over 10 million data records from 19 London boroughs to track changes across nearly 575,000 low income households. Over 550,000 adults and 350,000 children live in these households, representing 27% of the overall population living in these boroughs.

For more details email hello@policyinpractice.co.uk or call 0330 088 9242.