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Is London’s wealth gap growing – Anusha Rudge

A sharp rise in mass protests, extreme levels of inflation and a nation teetering on the brink of a massive financial crisis. Only when they are taken together can we explain the root causes of daily inconveniences for all of us, from seeking medical care to using public transportation and perhaps even attending school. But while this seems like an obstacle to many, at its heart lies a more serious problem: the widening of the wealth gap. And recently, many are asking how, if there is a way, to overcome an inadequate standard of living without neglecting the most important responsibilities.

With high levels of financial development globally, it is often overlooked that the UK has a national Gini coefficient of 0.62. Perhaps more surprising to us all is that London, which would seem to be a progressive industrial centre, has become the region with the greatest inequality. Given that 10% of households own more than 44.3% of the area’s net worth, we question whether a level playing field is truly provided for the city’s rapid financial growth, and how this can be achieved.

Undoubtedly, the availability of the range of services has improved significantly. This can be seen in free healthcare and education or extension Transverse rail Services, none of which we can take for granted. However, with one in six families in the UK facing serious financial difficulties, there are frequent differences in who can benefit. This is evident in the contrast between two London boroughs: Richmond and Newham. For example, Newham’s child poverty rate is 33% higher than Newham and employment is 9% lower. Moreover, the difference in health care has pushed the difference in life expectancy between the two boroughs of London to about 10 years. The only reason for this can be attributed to the cost of the services themselves, with daily rail fares and commuting in London taking up a significant portion of many wages and denying many people the opportunity to commute to work or access quality education. . Although health care is free in the country, it is often difficult for many to obtain health insurance, resulting in longer waiting times, even in urgent cases.

With high levels of desperation in terms of health and finances throughout childhood, many children in poor families feel pressured to work immediately after leaving school. This often prevents them from pursuing higher paying jobs, most of which require an undeniably expensive university education. With a lower GCSE and university educated population in poorer areas of London, they are more likely to fall into urban decline, leading to what we can see as a largely unjust and systemic cycle of poverty. This makes us wonder if free services are only available to those who can afford them more in London.

In addition, many say that a high level of development does not necessarily improve the standard of living. The reason for this is gentrification: a symptom of our increasingly productivity-based economy. For example, housing companies and shops are most often owned by businesses that seek to make high profits. As a result, higher prices for basic necessities and the attraction of more local investment have left many locals struggling to make ends meet. For example, it should not be forgotten that an alarming number of residents have been evicted from their homes during refurbishment projects such as the Focus E15 flats in Stratford. Furthermore, the Grenfell Tower fire is just a disturbing reminder that many accessible facilities are in poor condition. In turn, the comfort we would associate with home is simply replaced by constant traumatic anxiety and intense levels of grief.

We need to think about the big disparity in the salaries themselves. An area affected by the recent protests is health care, with 4,749 appointments canceled due to nurses’ strikes, not to mention a sharp increase in medical errors during surgeries. While many decry this move as selfish, it’s important to think about the circumstances the economy has created for its workers. For example, a nurse, despite being on duty just as often and constantly interacting with patients, earns about half the salary of a doctor. A similar pattern can be seen in transport strikes: engineers earn much more than drivers themselves, despite the fact that the latter have to do the same hours of physical and often more unstable work. Recent studies have also shown that the minimum wage is not enough to sustain life, including socially important jobs such as childcare and food preparation. These are jobs without which we cannot imagine a comfortable standard of living, but which continue to be justified by the term “low-skilled”. It is a job that requires tireless effort from everyone, but many do not get what they fully deserve: a decent quality of life.

However, the culture dictates that we overlook this rather than sympathize because of the privileges we receive. The culture fuels the disdain some feel for those who struggle, unfairly claiming that many wouldn’t have made it if they “just tried harder.” And it is only when we take into account the underlying disparities that we realize that education and healthcare are far from affordable. We recognize that, inevitably, the wage distribution is biased toward those in technologically advanced industries. But as a growing but suffering economy, we have yet to find a solution.


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