The London Fairness Commission has launched its final report. At a well attended launch event at the National Theatre today three of the four Mayoral candidates took questions about the report and responded to its key findings. Sadiq Kahn, Sian Berry and Caroline Pidgeon (Labour, Green and Lib Dem respectively) all welcomed the report and committed to many of its recommendations. Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith didn't show up and didn't send anyone to speak on his behalf. Commission Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale warned that unless the next Mayor makes tackling inequality, and reducing the unjust unfairnesses we see around us, the whole city will suffer.
The report contains a wide range of practical recommendations that would really help make our city a bit fairer. It focusses particularly on housing - calling for the next Mayor to be given the power to set 'affordable rents' in the private sector, the suspension of right to buy in London, and new ideas on how to tax property owners or developers who keep properties empty. The Fairness Commission also recommends there should be a London Minimum Wage, set to recognise the higher costs of living for workers in London, and that companies in London should be asked to publish their wage ratios - that is how much the boss gets paid compared to the average worker. The Fairness Commission raises particular concerns about the lives of young Londoners, and how economic inequalities are making it almost impossible for ordinary young Londoners to live and work in their own city. One suggestion is that the freedom pass should not be given to wealthy older Londoners, and the money saved should go on creating more opportunities for young Londoners.
As a joint promoter of the Fairness Commission My Fair London would like to thank all the Commissioners and their staff for their work assembling a compelling set of proposals for the next Mayor of London. It was great to hear three out of four Mayoral candidates commit to take action on inequality. Interesting that the Conservative candidate couldn't make it, even to an event chaired by the Editor of the Evening Standard.