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News / City Life

Londoners have the least disposable income in the UK

Commuters at Canada Water Underground station, London.
Gearoid Hayes

Here’s some crap news to start your working week with: Londoners have less spare cash than anyone else in the country, according to a new study released today by the job-hunting site CV-Library. Even though the capital has the UK’s highest average salaries, the cost of living here means that Londoners are the UK’s poorest workers.

With average salaries for new jobs in the capital declining slightly from 2016 to 2017, and the cost of living going up, Londoners paying rent, council tax, transport costs, bills and groceries are worse off than people in 15 other major UK cities. In fact, people in Aberdeen have nearly £1,000 extra per month to splash or save: £1,173 of disposable income, compared to London’s £195.18.

We do have a couple of quibbles. The first is that hardly anyone in London lives in a ‘small, one-bed flat, located close to the city centre’ – the rental cost the study factors in. (We have a much better public transport system than a lot of places, making it easier to live further out without a car, and housesharing until your thirties – rightly or wrongly – is totally normal here.) You might also argue that £1,000 is a decent price to pay for life in a city where there’s never any shortage of exciting things to do – including lots that’s absolutely free.

Still, it’s hardly an ideal situation and might help explain why thirty-somethings are leaving London in record numbers. On the plus side, rents in London have shown signs of going down recently and we’re not even the most expensive place in the UK to buy a pint any more, so things could be looking up. Hey, we can dream!

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Paul M

I moved to London from Leeds 13 years ago, the place gets worse year by year, yes lower disposable income in real terms, but more aggressive and less friendly than ever. I am afraid to say I am moving back to a pleasant market town near Leeds with the knowledge that my children will have a better quality of life. Sad really, but you can't alter the status quo