The cost of living crisis will “deepen racial inequality” as soaring prices disproportionately impact people from ethnic minority groups, research has found.
The annual London Poverty Profile, published this week by Trust for London, revealed 27 per cent of households in the capital are living in poverty. For Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, the proportion of people living in poverty is far higher at 39 per cent – almost four in 10.
Many Londoners were struggling to afford food before the pandemic, according to the report. In 2019, more than one in five Londoners had “low or very low food security”, meaning they couldn’t afford to eat or didn’t have the resources to buy food. That rate was two times higher for people from Black African, Caribbean and Black British communities.
And record inflation rates mean that disparity is set to worsen. Research by the New Economics Foundation published in May found Black, Asian and other ethnic minority households are experiencing costs that are 50 per cent higher than white households as a portion of their income.
White people are seeing an average increase of £2,200 in their cost of living this year, while the increase for ethnic minority households is £2,900. According to the foundation, this “increase to the cost of living will deepen racial inequality”.
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Jabeer Butt OBE, the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation said the figures are “shocking, but not surprising”. He said existing racial discrimination was exacerbated by the pandemic, with increased debt and loss of income impacting ethnic minority groups more acutely.