East End poor face higher cost-of-living, says Toynbee Hall

Fighting East End pverty

Fighting East End pverty - Credit: Toynbee Hall

Families on the poverty line in London’s East End are paying more for everyday living than elsewhere, a shock report reveals this week.

They are forking out more for essentials due to the Poverty Premium, research by Toynbee Hall charity has found.

Low-income households are finding it a daily challenge paying for products and services, even with the most cost-effective means of paying, including cash.

They owe more with catalogue buying—but their financial savvy means they get away with lower-cost credit than other options such as doorstep lending or payday loans, researchers have discovered.

“People are making sure they’re getting the best deals for goods and services,” explained Toynbee Hall’s chief executive Graham Fisher. “We encourage them to keep this going by joining programmes such as the Community money mentors scheme which helps make their incomes go further.”


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Catalogue debt is high, but lower than many other options such as doorstep lending or payday loans. The cost of fuel, insurance and loans creates a Tower Hamlets Poverty Premium of £786, the findings show.

There is a lack of free cash machines, particularly in Poplar, it found, while the Tower Hamlets Energy Co-operative could benefit many more residents.

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