Monday, February 13, 2012

London's Shame

The Socialist Party is contesting two seats in the up-coming London elections as an opportunity to advance the arguments for a socialist world. On 3rd of May we are standing in two GLA constituencies: Lambeth & Southwark and also Merton & Wandsworth. The Socialist Party candidate in Lambeth & Southwark will be Danny Lambert and in Merton & Wandsworth Bill Martin. You can follow the election campaign at our companion blog Vaux Populi

Some London Facts

London is the economic engine of the UK . The capital houses the headquarters of more than 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies and London 's £162 billion economy is larger than some EU countries. London is the sixth richest city in the world, provides 20% UK 's GDP and is one of the most expensive cities to live in worldwide.

4 in 10 (or 650,000) London children live in poverty , 12% above the national average. London has the highest proportion of children living in income poverty (after housing costs) of any region or country in Great Britain.

295 (39%) of London 's wards fall in the most deprived 20% of wards in England. Furthermore, four London boroughs (Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Islington) are in the top ten most deprived boroughs in England. In Tower Hamlets, the local authority set to host the 2012 Olympic Games, 52 percent of children live in poverty just a stone’s throw from the riches of the City, while in the borough of Islington, the figure stands at 43 percent, according to the report.

Families living in poverty have only £10 per person per day to buy everything they need. In contrast, the average household income in London is £44 per person per day - over 20% higher than the national average. Indeed, whilst 22% households in London have an income of under £15,000, 15% households in London have an income of over £60,000.

Children in do badly even when they are smart. A recent U.S. study tracked a group of eighth-graders in 1988. It found that students who did very well on a standardised test but were poor were less likely to get through college than their peers who tested poorly but were well-off.

Despite the rhetoric of politicians, prospects for many of those at the bottom rung of the social ladder in the UK look set to get bleaker rather than brighter.

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