Single mothers in London are biggest group hit by benefits cap

children legs

Single parents have been the hardest hit since the benefits cap was introduced two years ago. More than 20,000 in London have had their weekly benefits cut.

The impact on lone parents has been felt more in London, where 62% of capped households are single parents, compared with 56% across the country. Nine out of ten lone parents are women.

Single parent households capped-2

The benefits cap was introduced in April 2013.  It limits the total weekly support to £500 for a couples, with or without children, and single parents. For individuals without a child it is £350. The weekly allowance includes income support, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and child benefit.

Many regions of the country have higher rates of people claiming out of work benefits than London yet 45% of the households capped over the last 2 years have been in capital. The benefits bill in London is pushed up by housing benefits claims that result from high rental costs.  90% of the families with two or three children that have been capped are in London. Elsewhere in the country it is easier for a family of this size to rent a home without housing benefit.  Outside London it is mostly larger families, with four children or more who are losing benefits.

The majority of households capped in London lost £50 or under from their weekly benefits but 119 have had £400 or more taken out of their claim.  Most of these were in Brent and Ealing, the two boroughs that saw most households capped.  The fewest capped households are in the more affluent areas in the south west of the city.

Benefits cap map-2

More families are likely to see their benefits cut this autumn when the cap is lowered. Currently a family can claim up to £26,000 a year. This will be reduced to just under £23,000 or £442 per week.

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See also

 

Elderly show wealth divide – 75,000 not claiming pension, more rely on benefits

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

 

The way we spend our cash – more rent, less alcohol, healthier eating

Credit card payment-2The average family in London spends £616.30 per week, £100 more than the national average, and most of the extra money is spent paying housing costs.

The data for household spending from the Office for National Statistics gives an insight in how households live based upon their spending patterns.

Rent is biggest bill each week for London households costing an average of £96.30 before any benefits are taken into account. That’s double the next nearest region, the South East, and 3 times more than households are paying in Scotland.

Households are spending £67.20 a week on transport, but the way that money is spent is different to the rest of the country. As a big city with a bus, tube and rail network London has the lowest level of spending on running a car and the highest on public transport.

The weekly food bill is £63.20 and reveals our eating habits. Households spent £2.90 on chicken compared to £1.80 on beef. And Londoners spend £3.60 a week on fish, more than any other region.

London households appear more health conscious, as they are the only ones in the UK to spend more on fresh fruit (£4.20) than on cakes and biscuits (£3.60).

They also spend less on alcohol and cigarettes. The average household drinks £7.30 worth of alcohol at home, lower than every region except the West Midland, and only the South West is spending less on smoking.

But while Londoners are saving something on booze at home their bar bills are the among the highest in the country. Average weekly spending on alcohol consumed away from home was £9.50, and eating out accounts for £21 per week.

Gambling appears less popular in London than elsewhere in the country. The average household bets £2.00 a week, the lowest of any region. Londoners spend more on books than anyone else, £1.80 a week, or enough to buy a paperback once a month.

Londoners spend £12.60 per household each week on pampering themselves with visits to the hairdresser, toiletries and hair and beauty products. Women spend £9.60 per week or £499.20 a year on clothing, 25% more than men.

Household spending


The ONS uses data from 2012-2104 to calculate regional averages.

Source data

See also

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

London may win for iPhone earning power over Poland but cost of living much higher

How London’s choice of nightlife compares to other cities

 

More mums in their early 40s than early 20s in city’s wealthiest areas

Pregnant at work g-stockstudio-2

Photo: g-stockstudio ┃Shuttertock.com

Women giving birth in their early 40s outnumber women giving birth in their early 20s in 8 of London’s most affluent boroughs. In Kensington and Chelsea the ratio is 2:1 in favour of the older mums.

The figures in the latest births data from the Office for National Statistics underlines the long-running trend towards women having children when they are older. Nationally the number of mums in the 35-39 age group exceeded those aged 20-24 for the first time last year, according to the data just released.

But in London that trend is more developed and the numbers of women in their 40s giving birth is growing. Across England and Wales just under half of all births are to women in their 20s. In London it is 38% as more women wait before having children.

London v national birth ages

London mums have an older age profile. The data show that 18% of all the children born in the England and Wales in 2014 were born in London. But only 9% of those born to under 20s were in the capital, while it is home to a quarter of mothers over 35 and more than a third of those over 45.

Across England and Wales as a whole the picture is different and the number of mothers in their early 20s outnumbers those in their 40s by 4:1.  This is the case in some London boroughs too, such as Newham and Barking and Dagenham. But in Richmond, and Kensington and Chelsea the 40-44s have outnumbered the 20-24s for some years and this trend is now emerging in more boroughs, including Camden, City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston, Wandsworth and Westminster.

20s v 40s

The affluent nature of these boroughs suggests that professional women trying to balance career with the timing of children may be a key driver of this trend.

Source data

See also

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Over 50% of London babies have mothers born outside the UK

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

 

Why the London property market is heading back to the 1970s

cityscape b&WHome ownership and property rental in London are reverting to the patterns of the 1970s as fewer people can afford to buy a house and more rely on the private rental market to put a roof over their heads.

Owning your own home is a long held aspiration for millions of people and has been far more commonplace in the UK than in continental Europe, where long-term rental is a more regular housing decision. The desire to buy was fuelled by the property boom of the 80s and 90s, assisted by the Right to Buy scheme where tenants were allowed to purchase their council-provided property.

But the data on property tenure across London reveals that trend is being rapidly reversed and the pattern of ownership, private rental, and social housing now resembles London in the 70s.

After climbing to its peak in the 90s owner-occupation had fallen to 50% by 2011. And the squeeze on social housing due to the reduced amount of council housing stock has meant an expansion in the private rental market last seen on this scale in the mid 70s.

Housing tenure type

The profile of private renters is also changing. For years this has been the housing choice of singles and young couples. Increasingly it is the choice for families. A third of the private rental households in London in 2011 had children. 10 years earlier it was just 20%.

Housing tenure profile

This growth of private rental is also being driven by migration, both national and international. The Labour Force Survey in 2014 revealed that 80% of those who have recently moved to London from abroad, and 70% who have moved from other parts of UK, are in private rent homes. This may be a reflection of a temporary decision to move to London to work rather than to settle, but it also reflects the affordability of home ownership in the capital.

The desire to buy appears to be still strong. The English Housing Survey data on resident’s level of satisfaction with their home and the way they have obtained it reveals that 80% of those in private rental were happy with the accommodation, but far fewer where happy about being in the private rental sector.

Housing tenure satisfaction

While the economic circumstances do not make owning a home an option for many, these survey responses indicate a desire to do so, which is perhaps deeply imbedded in the UK culture.

Source data

See also

The jobs success and housing failure causing a crisis for the capital

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

Under 40s locked out of housing market destined to be “generation rent”

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Mum wiht baby in buggie-1Anyone who has walked down the Northcote Road in Battersea on a Saturday morning will tell you that there are a lot of children in the neighbourhood.  It is pretty self evident from the numbers of buggies that you need to navigate as you take in the area’s cafe culture.

The area which lies between Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common has been dubbed Nappy Valley and the epithet is certainly supported by the data.  Analysis by Urbs of child benefit data shows that Wandsworth, where Nappy Valley is situated,  has the highest proportion of children under 4 in London.  37% of the children in the borough are babies and pre-school kids. That’s a third higher than the national average of 20%.  The rate for London is 31%.

under 4s in London map

While Wandsworth has the highest proportion of tiny Londoners, for sheer numbers of children Croydon takes the prize. The borough has 95,000 under 18s, beating Barnet with 90,000 and Newham with 85,000.

If you want to avoid children then head to the City of London.  The high proportion of under 4s on our map, while accurate, may be misleading as the square mile is home to just 885 kids.

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