Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Extra support needed to avoid more people being plunged into poverty – report

© PA13% of Scots surveyed in a recent charity report said they are worried they may have to rely on food banks this Christmas.
13% of Scots surveyed in a recent charity report said they are worried they may have to rely on food banks this Christmas.

Half a million people could be plunged into “deep poverty” without extra support because of the ongoing “economic storm” they face, a new report warns.

Many families have already cut back on food and other essentials or fallen behind on rent and other bills, said the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

Ministers are being urged to make a temporary £20-a-week increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit permanent, as well as extending this support to those excluded on legacy benefits.

The foundation said its analysis suggested that if this lifeline is removed as planned in April 2021, it will cause a “significant shock” to the incomes of those who are newly unemployed and families who are already struggling.

Around 16 million people are at risk of experiencing a drop of £1,040 a year in their support, and 700,000 are likely to be pulled into poverty in the spring unless action is taken, JRF warned.

As families try to cope with additional challenges accessing childcare and transport, managing health risks, and when services like breakfast clubs and informal childcare arrangements are not available, many will be unable to cope if the uplift is reversed, JRF added.

Without this support, half a million people are likely to be plunged into deep poverty, its report said.

JRF acting director Helen Barnard said: “The additional £20 per week is a vital lifeline for many people on low incomes who are struggling to get by.

“As we all adjust to living and working alongside Covid-19, we know many families have been hit by extra costs and barriers to earning as a result. Too many households are at risk of being pulled into poverty as unemployment rises.

“We cannot afford to whip this lifeline away at precisely the time when it’s needed most. Now is the moment to help families stay afloat, not cut them adrift.

“The Autumn Budget offers an opportunity to strengthen social security by making the increase to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to those on legacy benefits who are largely sick or disabled people and carers, who have wrongly been left out.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Government policies, in particular those related to the pandemic, are under constant review.

“We have provided £9.3 billion extra welfare support to help those most in need, including increasing Universal Credit by up to £20 a week, as well as introducing income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

“Claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off but should check their eligibility before applying.”