On Thursday, 2nd February 2023 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, put London’s most urgent questions to MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis at a one-off live event to help Londoners tackle the cost of living crisis.
Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard hosted the conversation with questions submitted online by Londoners and taken from audience members.
They discussed what help is available for people to manage soaring energy or mortgage costs, easy tips to help people ease their financial pressures, and how can people can best manage mental health through this crisis.
Thursday’s event comes as new City Hall polling from YouGov shows that 17% of Londoners say they financially struggling to make ends meet or are going without essentials and/or relying on debt. This is five percentage points higher than when the same question was asked a year ago. Half of Londoners (49%) say they are seeking out cheaper products to stretch their funds, whilst 45% say they are using less water, fuel or energy to try to keep bills down. 39 per cent of Londoners say they think they will struggle to pay their energy bills in the next six months.
Martin Lewis has repeatedly warned of the impact a protracted cost of living crisis could have on the nation’s mental health, and this appears to be borne out by the latest data: the spiralling cost of living is having a negative impact on health, with half of Londoners (50%) polled saying that the cost of living had had either a ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ negative impact on their mental health.
In addition to the Debt Free Advice Bus, organisations including Citizens Advice and Energy Saving Trust hosted stalls to provide information about the support they can offer with things like unclaimed benefits, debt, energy efficiency and digital skills and help attendees access their services.