Charities call on Chancellor about potential poverty surge.

Latest figures show the impact of COVID

The IPPR report has revealed child poverty in North East England has significantly increased since 2013.

With the region experiencing a spike in COVID cases, the local economic impact is showing early negative effects of the novel virus as 68% of jobs face moderate to severe negative consequences.

According to the public policy research think tank, poverty grew by 9% in the region compared to 3% across the UK over seven years.

Charities calls out

Latest figures come at a concerning time for UK charities as this week saw the Joseph Rowntree Foundation publicly call on the Chancellor to make the temporary £20 Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift permanent from April 2021.

A coalition of charities responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s winter economy plan as hopes for the benefit increase to be permanently implemented were not announced.

In the letter receiving 50 signages from Oxfam GB, Save the Children and the Disability Benefits Consortium, an alliance of over 100 disability organisations, called for the praised lifeline to be extended to those on legacy benefits.

“We urge you to follow the advice of the Social Security Advisory Committee and support 1.5 million more people by applying an equivalent uplift to those on legacy benefits who have so far been excluded from increases.”

Rising numbers

The public call warns that if the uplift is removed it could potentially bring 700,000 more people into poverty, including 300,000 children and seeing 500,000 already experiencing poverty be dragged into deep poverty.

The £20-a-week increase has kept 16million people afloat during the pandemic and a £9 billion a year investment will be imperative to the nations recovery, the letter expressed.

More needs to be done

The Chancellor addressed the nation and didn’t shy away from the large job losses and future redundancies to come. Though measures to protect those in that predicament are set and celebrated, the foundation urges more needs to be done for those who face job and financial insecurities.

“These investments will take time and it is crucial that our social security system offers the certainty and security people need to help them stay afloat so that they are equipped to grasp every new opportunity and are protected from the damaging long term consequences of financial hardship.”

Watch Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s statement on the winter economy plan.

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Aida fofana

Aida fofana

All things culture & politics! Currently MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalist