Last week’s Institute for Fiscal Studies report on regional inequalities is a wake-up call to ministers, focused on Red Wall Tory. It highlighted London’s challenges on jobs and housing, especially for younger people. It was clear that a levelled-up Britain means a levelled-up London too.
As the IFS report set out, more of our city’s young people from less privileged backgrounds are going to university than elsewhere. But we need London’s opportunities to be more fairly accessible for all, including the new wave of careers generated from our transition to a net-zero economy.
The IFS also highlighted, yet again, how for most young people without family wealth, getting on the housing ladder is a pipedream. I spent nearly 15 years as a London MP dealing with families in overcrowded housing. It’s now time to stop piecemeal initiatives, get a proper plan and get building the homes this city needs.
Justine Greening, Founder of the Social Mobility Pledge
“Bath, Belgravia and Bournville” are the models for the latest government plan to increase affordable housing. It cuts red tape so new properties can be built faster. The sticking point is that it ignores the deep economic and social factors that have led to the state housing is currently in. It may also scrap the law to include affordable housing in new developments. Simply building in haste won’t help those who desperately need it.
Susannah Butter, Comment Editor
C-charge chalks out no-go zone
There is little chance of my visiting the West End until he congestion charge is rescinded. £15 pounds additional cost to parking my car is a step too far just to go shopping. I will not use a bus, Tube or train as I believe the wearing of masks is currently not being enforced by Transport for London.