Coronavirus has pushed almost 700,000 people in UK into poverty

Almost 700,000 people have fallen into poverty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

An estimated 690,000 more people in the UK live in poverty than in a situation where Covid-19 was unaffected, according to a report from the Legatum Institute.

But government action has halved the increase in poverty that would otherwise have occurred, the think tank said.

It is estimated that an additional 690,000 people were prevented from falling into poverty by temporarily increasing universal credit and labor tax credits by £ 20 per week.

This increase and the abolition of the minimum income have “isolated many families from the economic effects of Covid-19,” the report said.

The report contains the first estimates of poverty this winter. It uses the Social Metrics Commission’s approach to measuring poverty, which the government is currently using to compile and publish experimental statistics.

Baroness Philippa Stroud, executive director of the Legatum Institute, calls on the government to “urgently move this work forward”.

She said: “Given the well-documented impact of the pandemic on jobs and family incomes across the UK, it is no surprise that poverty is rising.

“However, our analysis shows that government action in times of crisis can protect many of those who are affected by poverty. But it needs to have the right tools and information.

“To ensure that this continues as we adapt to or live with life after Covid-19, there is a clear need to put a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy at the center of the response of Covid recovery in the UK . “

The analysis found that increases in poverty were most widespread among working-age adults, while performance increases have meant that some groups, such as B. Single parents, saw a decline in poverty.

The Legatum Institute said this suggests the impact on children may be less than expected, with poverty rising by an estimated 120,000 children.

Helen Barnard, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said of the universal credit increase, “We should be proud of our country’s decision to protect those on the lowest incomes through our social security system – this is the right thing.”

“It is all the more disappointing that the Chancellor has remained silent about whether this lifeline will remain in place beyond April, and that millions will have to wait for winter in fear and uncertainty.

“There is no scenario in which this support is not needed, and inaction risks a sharp rise in poverty.

“It is not too late for the Chancellor to do the right thing,” she added.

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