Disposable incomes in London lead UK despite financial crash

 
Tim Wallace
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London’s disposable incomes are highest at £22,516 on average

Disposable incomes in London pulled further ahead of those in the rest of the country over the past 15 years, official figures showed yesterday, despite the capital being the epicentre of the financial crisis.
Spending power across the UK has grown enormously since 1997, with the average annual post-tax and benefit income rising from £10,030 to £17,559 in 2013 – after accounting for rising prices.
London’s disposable incomes are highest at £22,516 on average, up from £12,228 in 1997, growth which shows the capital’s earners increasing their lead over the rest of the country.
Those incomes did decline in 2010 and 2011, while the average level kept rising across the country. But despite that fall, Londoners’ incomes rose more over the whole period.
Such earnings growth also shows that despite the squeeze on living standards since the crash, the sustained rise in living standards has continued apace.
The rest of the south east has the next highest incomes, at a post-tax and benefits average of £19,898 per year, similarly up from £11,670 in 1997.
Incomes were lowest in Northern Ireland in 2013 at £14,347, up from £8,157 in 1997.
The Office for National Statistics also shows enormous variation in incomes within London.
At the top end, Westminster leads the table with average disposable incomes of £43,577.
The borough is closely followed by Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham with an average of £42,116.
Those are almost three times as high as the lowest-paid boroughs.
Barking and Dagenham along with Havering are bottom of the pile with average disposable incomes of £16,801 in 2013.
Bexley and Greenwich are next with £16,911, followed by Redbridge and Waltham Forest at £16,929.

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