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The 'squeezed middle': seminar at House of Commons

The breadth of the squeezed middle was last week illustrated by Rupa who compared Reggie Perrin’s detached suburban Tudor residence to Del Boy’s overpopulated tower block flat.
The title credits for both shows were filmed in the Ealing Central & Acton constituency where she is standing in the General Election, which she says is still “A place of classic squeezed middle. A seat of extremes.”
Rupa was hosting a Progress event, where it was recognised that though the economy is growing, this is doing little to push people out of low pay.
A BritainThinks poll says that many Londoners class themselves as ‘outsiders’ struggling to succeed and believing that owning a home is a pipe dream.  Claire Kober, leader of Harringey Council endorsed this, saying:
‘It’s far too hard for too many people who feel their aspirations just aren’t achievable any more. Asset inequality excludes people from opportunities. It’s crucial London works for everyone irrespective of their income.’
Deborah Mattinson,the director of BritainThinks, said there is evidence showing that young Londoners are more pessimistic about the capital’s future and way of life than older counterparts.
She says they are gloomy about a whole load of things, highlighting those below the age of 44 who consider that they have to make large sacrifices to live in London, with many inclined to think living in the capital entails accepting a lower quality of life that could be had elsewhere.
Deborah spoke of the anger, stress and isolation experienced by many Londoners in the context of a belief that their children were unlikely to have a better life, when their own progress was blocked through insecure jobs, low pay and overwork.
But Claire Kober said: ‘We are not in the business of managing decline and we recognise we cannot achieve our ambitions on our own. Local government needs to be given the ability to become self-financing. I am committed to creating a more equal borough and a more equal London. Enabling our local communities by harnessing talent and opportunity, and by giving people the tools to make a difference where they live.’

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Dr Rupa Huq , Ealing Central and Acton

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