Almost half a million households ‘destitute’ as numbers double due to Covid

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Almost half a million households 'destitute' as numbers double due to Covid
CREDIT: Twitter

Almost half a million households ‘destitute’ as numbers double due to Covid.

THE number of UK household “in destitution” has more than doubled during 2020 as the economy has struggled during this Coronavirus pandemic, according to research conducted by National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Around 220,000 British households were in the most severe poverty by the end of 2020 as a result of the health crisis and living on less than £100 (€116) a week – £70 (€81) for single adults.

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That’s more than twice the 197,400 before Covid hit according to NIESR, and took the total to almost half a million (421,500) at the end of last year.

The new research is due to be revealed in a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation called ‘Britain’s £400bn Covid Bill: Who Will Pay?’ which will air tonight, Monday, February 22, at 8pm (UK time).

Researchers found that in the North West, the number of households living in destitution rose from 0.7 per cent to 4.5 per cent in 2020, and NIESR predicts the number of households in the worst poverty across the North West will reach 5.6 per cent in 2021 – eight times worse than before lockdown began.


Professor Jagjit Chadha, NIESR director, told The Guardian that “as a result of lockdowns, levels of destitution seem to be rising across the country”.

“Families who can’t work, who work in the industries most affected by Covid – like hospitality, the restaurant trade, industries requiring social proximity, which account for around a tenth of all employment in this country – they will continue suffering for some time.”

The research and Despatches show comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak strives to extend the additional £20 in Universal Credit.



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Tara Rippin
Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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