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Mayor of London's Cost of Living Webinar with Martin Lewis

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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.

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In an ideal world, events like this would not need to happen. None of us want to be preparing for another year of spiralling prices and stagnant wages but until the Government start taking their responsibilities to tackle this emergency seriously, it is vital that we share guidance, advice and best practice to help Londoners make the most of their situations and avoid costly mistakes.

The latest City Hall polling from YouGov makes stark reading, laying bare the awful impact this crisis is having on Londoners’ financial, physical and mental health. We’re doing all we can to help Londoners, it is about time ministers started doing the same.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

The cost of living crisis is striking across the country, but this is nothing new in London, where many on the lowest incomes have struggled for years with super-high rents and a property ladder whose first rung seems miles high. Of course though it means things have gotten worse.

London’s been my home ever since I came to study at the LSE in 1991, so I’m delighted to come and do an event with the Mayor. My focus is the practicals – I’ll try to leave the politics to others – I can’t promise there’s a solution to every question, but at least we may be able to point people in the right direction.

MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis