OUR ECONOMY REPORTS
HELPING OUR HIGH STREETS
By Keith Prince AM, January 2019
High streets lie at the heart of our communities and local economies, providing jobs, developing small businesses and injecting billions of pounds into the economy. However, London’s high streets have been struggling and, even though the economy has improved, empty units are still a common sight in our town centres. This situation also has an impact on employment opportunities for Londoners.
This report sets out the problems facing London’s high streets including squeezed incomes, growth of online shopping, parking, and the cost of business rates. This document contains proposals on how the Mayor can work in partnership with local authorities and business organisations to help London’s high streets and deliver on his priority to be open for business.
EMPLOY-ABILITY: THE DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT GAP IN LONDON
By Gareth Bacon AM, October 2018
London should be a place where everyone can benefit from its opportunities and achieve their full potential but, unfortunately, this is not always the case for disabled people. Businesses and organisations want to attract the best skills and talents to our city; however, the current employment rate gap between disabled and non- disabled people shows that we have a way to go.
Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people. One in five employers say they would be less likely to employ a disabled person. By the age of 26, disabled people are four times more likely to be out of work or not in education compared to non-disabled people. These are neither figures to be proud of nor complacent about, and we need to take bold action to not only address the problem, but to also change engrained working cultures that have resulted in the gap barely moving an inch in the last decade.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor should show leadership on this issue and act by example. There are no quick solutions, but there are some ways in which City Hall could make its contribution to narrowing this gap in London once and for all.
RICH CITY, POOR PAY: ENDING THE PATTERN OF LOW PAY IN THE CAPITAL
By Andrew Boff AM, April 2017
In many ways, London’s economy can be seen as the heartbeat of the UK economy. Itcontributes roughly a quarter of the country’s GDP and has consistently outpaced the rest of the country in terms of labour growth. Indeed, there are now over 12 per cent more jobs in the Capital than in 2008, far beyond the levels of growth witnessed in other parts the country.
But these successes conceal a growing problem in London: the issue of persistent and pernicious low pay. Since 2009, living standards among middle and low income families have stagnated. Despite the Capital currently enjoying historically low levels of unemployment, working poverty is increasing, and the majority of poor people now live in working households.
In all, 21 per cent of London’s workers, approximately 625,000 people, are paid below the London Living Wage, the most common benchmark for determining personal living standards. This situation should be considered unacceptable to politicians of all stripes. This paper will examine the picture of low pay in London, the issues that give rise to its perpetuation, and what London government can do halt its advance.
CASH FOR ACCESS: EXPANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF FREE CASH MACHINES
By Shaun Bailey AM, March 2017
Free access to your own cash should be a right, not a privilege – after all it is your money. However, in 2017, the year of the 50th anniversary of the world’s first cash machine launched in London, people can still be charged for the basic right to access their own money.
Convenience is a big factor when it comes to why Londoners still choose to use fee-charging cash machines. If life circumstances make it difficult for people to leave thehome or travel far, they may choose to use the nearest fee-charging cash machine becausethey might not be able to travel further. This particularly affects those with limited mobility, those who are carers or in situations that restrict them from traveling far. These people areoften on low incomes and use cash as a budgeting tool, so they probably need greater access to cash machines than the average person.
This report investigates access to free cash machines in London, how ATM access affects low income people and what the Mayor can do to improve Londoners’ access to their cash.