Zakat Expert

The Cost of Living Working Group – established by the London Assembly in 2022 – has released its highly anticipated report, marking a significant milestone in the city’s effort to address the soaring cost of living affecting its residents. The report comes after a year of research, meetings, and consultations with various stakeholders, including NZF. 


The Working Group, comprising four members (one from each political group represented in the London Assembly), embarked on this initiative to shed light on the challenges Londoners face amidst rising living expenses. The group’s diverse representation underscores a city-wide commitment to tackling this issue from multiple perspectives. 


Throughout the year, the Working Group engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of London’s cost of living crisis. NZF provided invaluable insights into the struggles of the city’s Muslim community facing financial hardships. 


The ongoing issue of the cost of living in London remains critical. A recent survey by the GLA revealed that nearly half (46%) of Londoners have struggled or failed to keep up with their bills in the past six months.  


In its findings, the Working Group has made a series of recommendations to mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, some of which are as follows: 


  • The Government is urged to remove the benefit limit for families with more than two children to aid families over the long haul. 
  • At the city level, addressing the cost of living should remain a priority for the London Partnership Board. 
  • The mayor is encouraged to ensure uniform access to mental health services across all boroughs and to provide frontline organisations with details on support and funding available in each area. 
  • The Government is called upon to eliminate section 21 eviction notices before the forthcoming election. 
  • The mayor should release the GLA’s assessment of the Universal Free School Meals program as soon as possible, including examining how the policy affects pupil premium eligibility. 


The report’s release is a stepping stone towards more actively engaging with policymakers, stakeholders, and the community to find sustainable solutions to the cost of living crisis. Moreover, the work of the Cost of Living Working Group and the contributions of organisations like NZF are pivotal in the collective effort to ensure more affordable living for Londoners. 


Dr Sohail Hanif, CEO of NZF, said:  

“NZF’s contribution to the Cost of Living Report highlights the challenges London’s Muslim community faces in the current economic climate. Through our engagement with the Working Group, we’ve brought to light the unique financial hardships our community encounters and proposed targeted solutions. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to advocating for policies that ensure equitable support for all Londoners, demonstrating the critical role faith-based organisations can play in shaping a more inclusive and supportive city.”