Like Covid19, inequality is odourless, we can't touch, taste or smell it, but in London we are bathed in it every day. Viruses are like fingerprints. They help to show us some of the hidden structures of our society and Covid19 infection, disease and death rates have mapped poverty and inequality in London.
Inequality (the size of the social and economic gaps between us) damages us all, our friendships and relationships, our work, our homes, our education, our health and our chances of living a happy, fulfilling life. Inequality has shaped who is more likely to catch Covid19, and who is more likely to die. Barking and Dagenham has seen twice as many cases as Richmond; three times as many London bus drivers have died compared to the average death rate.
But London's shockingly high levels of inequality are not inevitable. As our city gradually emerges from the crisis of the pandemic now is the time for radical changes to the fundamental economic structure of our city. We must Build Back Fairer.
Read our Agenda for a fairer London and add your name to the growing list of Londoners demanding a more equal capital. Sign the petition below.
Inequality in London more or less doubled in the 1980s. It has stayed at this very high level for the last thirty years:
- London is nearly twice as unequal as it was 40 years ago;
- We now have more billionaires than any other city in Europe, and more than at any other point in our history;
- 5% of Londoners own 50% of the wealth of our city. 50% of Londoners share only 5% of the wealth between them;
- Homelessness has increased by over 150% in the last ten years, and child poverty has tripled in the last 40 years;
- Extreme wealth, as it drives up prices and rents, makes housing unaffordable for all but the very rich
- Inequality creates the toxic context for youth and male violence. As it widens the gaps between us inequality drives desire for status, recognition and ‘respect’.
For many, unequal London has become a less generous, more violent, harsher and harder place to live. Covid19 arrived after ten years of austerity which left London's communities vulnerable and our public services poorly prepared for the crisis.
We need a much fairer London. As we recover from the pandemic we need our Mayor to make greater economic equality and a fairer London their top priority.
To Labour candidate Sadiq Khan, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, Green Candidate Sian Berry, Liberal Democrat Candidate Luisa Porrit
We call on the 2021 London Mayoral candidates to engage with our Agenda for a #fairerLondon:
- Narrow the gap between rich and poor by speaking out about inequality and call out greed and excess in our city.
- Demand a fair start for young Londoners by lobbying for a Real Living Wage for young Londoners and increase funding for state schools and youth services.
- Create homes for everyone by ending right-to-buy, introduce rent controls and campaign for wealth-based property taxes.
- Lead on fair pay and fair taxes by Introducing a 10:1 maximum pay ratio at City Hall, for all public bodies, and demand business follows suit.
- Shape a city that cares for us all by investing in universal public services to build a resilient city for all.
After the multiple losses caused by Covid19, and the stark inequalities that left some far more vulnerable to the virus than others, now is the time for a #Fairer London