1.6 million Londoners forced to take a pay cut due to Covid-19


More than a million workers across the capital have had their pay cut or their hours reduced since the Covid-19 crisis began.

Data reveals that Londoners may be disproportionately affected by the economic squeeze brought on by the pandemic. More workers based in London have suffered cuts to their income than in any other region.

Since the Government’s emergency measures were introduced, over a fifth (23%) have been asked to reduce their hours or take a pay cut while the Covid-19 crisis plays out. More than one quarter (28%) of Londoners say that they, or someone in their household, has been furloughed by their employer.

The research from comparethemarket.com’s Household Financial Confidence Tracker reveals that Londoners are among the most likely regions to struggle with paying their bills, as over one fifth (22%) are not confident that they will be able to meet the demands of their household finances over the coming weeks.

London is well known for its high cost of living, particularly rents, which have outstripped wage growth for some time. A small but significant proportion of Londoners (6%) have had to ask for a freeze on their rental payments.

Nonetheless, Londoners are taking financial matters into their own hands as research indicates that they are among the most likely to prioritise good financial management in lockdown.

Over half (55%) of those based in the capital have taken steps to cuts costs in light of the pandemic, such as looking into how they can save money on bills and subscription services, or switching their broadband and energy providers.

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Londoners cannot entirely budget their problems away and one quarter (26%) say that they have needed to dip into savings during lockdown.

As the government starts the next phase of easing lockdown restrictions, the capital’s attitudes towards life post-lockdown appear mixed. The city is divided, as just under half (49%) say that they would not be confident visiting restaurants, cafes, pubs and cinemas once restrictions ease; 44% say that they would not feel in control or be able to enjoy themselves in such a situation.

However, the London Underground and others forms of public transport may not be set to suffer the predicted declines in everyday use. Almost half (45%) of London commuters said that they would continue using the tube or other types or public transport to get to work, compared to a national average of 17%.

Anna McEntee, product director at comparethemarket.com, said: “Living in the capital is expensive, especially during a global pandemic where workers are facing concerns around job security and salary reductions.

“Despite lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, people are still very worried about the long-term hit their finances will take and this anxiety is especially pronounced among Londoners who have been some of the worst hit in the country.

“The high cost of living, combined with nearly one third of Londoners having to take a pay cut means it is going to be a struggle over the coming months and we will therefore need to see companies and financial service providers showing forbearance to help individuals throughout this challenging time.”

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