From the Guardian
More than a third of the UK’s poorest families have seen their already meagre incomes squeezed during the pandemic because they have had to spend more on food, gas and electricity, and home schooling, a study has revealed.
The Resolution Foundation thinktank found that while UK household spending broadly dropped and financial savings increased during the Covid crisis, this was not the case for many low-income families, who saw basic living costs surge.
The government had failed to provide effective support for the poorest families, it said, and with the third lockdown expected to last months, it urged ministers to retain the £20 pandemic top-up to universal credit beyond April, as well as boost other benefits for the low-paid.
“The study shines an unforgiving light on the absence of targeted, adequate support for families on a low income, who today face the combined insecurity of Covid-19 and increased financial pressure,” said the study.
This added pressure came after years of weak growth in living standards for the poorest households, in turn leading to a general worsening of mental health, it added. It said: “Financial worries have been added to the general stress and anxiety of the pandemic for many families with children.”