Hollow Promise

Hollow Promise offers a rich picture of the pressures facing London’s modest, hard-working families, and sets out a series of ideas that could help make life easier for them.

The 1980s in London was defined by the rise of the Yuppies: young, aspirational, affluent and flash. London now has a tellingly different emerging group within its middle class: the Endies. They are Employed, but have No Disposable Income or Savings.

This report focuses on London’s Endies – those earning below average, but not so little than they are entitled to benefits. Across the city about 1 in 5 households fall into this category.

London depends on  people who work hard in essential jobs. Yet with wages flat-lining and costs spiralling, these workers are finding the capital an increasingly difficult place in which to live. Continuing to ignore their needs could have severe consequences for London’s politics and future.

Drawing on a series of interviews with ordinary Londoners and a new synthesis of quantitative evidence, we identify three steps that need to be taken to release London’s lower middle-income earners from the trap and make the city work for them.