Significant gap between pay rises and rent in London - GMB

The cost of renting a two-bedroom flat in London has increased by more than a fifth in the past few years, while average pay has gone up by 9%, a new study suggests.

Research by the GMB union indicated that the average price for a two-bed flat in the capital is £1,450 a month.

The price leapt by 50% in Greenwich between 2011 and 2018 to an average rent of £1,350 a month, while wages in the borough increased by 7.2%, said the union.

Other London boroughs had a significant gap between pay rises and rent, said the GMB.

Warren Kenny, the union's London regional secretary said: "Policy mistakes have made the housing position for lower-paid workers worse.

"Council homes for rents at reasonable levels were aimed at housing the families of workers in the lower pay grades and did it successfully for generations.

"These were sold off - but crucially not replaced as a matter of Tory dogma.

"Housing benefit was introduced instead to help pay rents for those on lower pay and the cost to the taxpayer has ballooned to over £24 billion a year. It would have been far cheaper to build the council homes.

"The chickens are now coming home to roost on these policy mistakes. There is a massive shortage of homes for rent at reasonable rents for workers in the lower pay grades.

"There is now no alternative to higher pay to pay these higher rents plus a step change upwards in building homes for rent at reasonable rents."

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