Twice as many Londoners blame energy bills rather than housing costs for financial pain

·2-min read
More Londoners worried about energy bills  (PA Wire)
More Londoners worried about energy bills (PA Wire)

Twice as many Londoners say energy bills are putting the most pressure on their cost of living compared to those who cite rent or mortgage payments, a new poll revealed on Wednesday.

Just under half (48 per cent) of adults in the capital said energy bills are causing the greatest pressure on their cost of living, according to the YouGov survey for Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End Institute.

This was far more than the second most frequently mentioned factor, rent or mortgage payments, highlighted by 23 per cent.

Food costs were cited by 12 per cent, petrol costs four per cent and child care two per cent.

Among Londoners aged 65 and over, 73 per cent said energy bills, 53 per cent for 50 to 64-year-olds, 44 per cent for the 25 to 49 age group, and 24 per cent for 18 to 24-year-olds.

The poll also found that two thirds of Londoners (65 per cent) are concerned about heating their home - next winter.

Just over a quarter (27 per cent) were very concerned, 38 per cent fairly concerned, 20 per cent not very concerned, and seven per cent not concerned at all.

Half of Londoners (49 per cent) said the amount of tax they and their family pay is too high, three in ten think their tax levels are about right, while just three per cent believe they are too low.

Almost half (47 per cent) opposed the recent 1.25 percentage points National Insurance rise, to plough £12 billion into the NHS and to tackle the social care crisis, with 39 per cent supporting it.

One in five Londoners are on an NHS waiting list for an appointment or procedure, the survey found, and 53 per cent said it was difficult to see their GP when they needed help.

Dr Patrick Diamond, Director of QMUL’s Mile End Institute, explained: “Housing has historically been the main financial issue for Londoners. Our research has shown repeatedly that worries about lack of affordable housing influence voters in local elections.

“Even so, the latest findings suggest the spiralling cost of energy bills may be overtaking rent and mortgage payments as the key cost of living concern in the capital.”

* YouGov interviewed 1,232 adults in London between April 19 and 22. Data are weighted.

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