William Eichler 25 August 2020

Low-income families ‘struggling’ under lockdown

Coronavirus has left low-income families struggling with a significant deterioration in living standards and high stress levels, a child poverty charity has found.

According to a new survey by Child Poverty Action Group, eight in 10 hard-up families said they were financially worse off as a result of the pandemic.

More than three-quarters of respondents said the coronavirus has affected their ability to pay for food (83%) and utilities (76%) and around half said it has affected their ability to pay for housing (47%) and child-related costs (e.g. nappies or baby products, children’s clothes – 53%).

Nearly six in 10 families are struggling to pay for three or more of these basic essentials (58%).

Nearly half (48%) told the charity they have a new or worse debt problem and 23% reported experiencing a relationship issue at home. 46% have taken on extra caring responsibilities.

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham, said: ‘Low-income parents have been living under a cloud of anxiety in lockdown -trying to find money for family basics as their costs have been rising. That’s taken a very heavy toll on the health and well-being of the worst affected parents and children.

‘We all want to protect children and families from the effects of the coronavirus recession and to prevent a growth in poverty following the pandemic.

‘But the support we offer low-income parents just doesn’t meet the additional costs of raising children and there was nothing in the Government’s emergency support schemes to correct this shortfall.

‘Child benefit alone has lost £5 of its value since 2010 because of sub-inflationary uprating and freezes. Re -investing in children’s benefits and widening access to free school meals should be the priorities now to protect family incomes and to support children’s life chances.

‘As the Government’s Covid-19 emergency support schemes are tapered away in the coming months, more help will be needed for struggling families who have lost jobs or taken income drops. Otherwise they will have only more hardship on their horizon.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Children's Social Workers and Senior Social Workers (Children Looked After)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,427 to £44,658
Here in Wandsworth, we are on an exciting journey of transformation. Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Peripatetic Customer Services Adviser

Northumberland County Council
£20,444 - £22,129
Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the largest counties in the UK. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Principal Engineer - York Central

City of York Council
£37,114 to £42,562
We have an exciting opening for an experienced highway design engineer. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Senior Highway Adoptions Inspector

City of York Council
£31,887 to £36,380
We have an exciting opening for an experienced highway inspector. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Highways Asset Engineer

Hackney London Borough Council
£37,260 - £38,148
Are you an experienced Asset Management professional looking for your next challenge? Hackney, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hackney London Borough Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.