The circumstances of lockdown are adding to the financial difficulties of low-income families across the UK, according to a new report carried out by the Resolution Foundation.
The think tank has said that having to stay home for the most part means needing to spend more money on food, energy and remote learning as far as millions of families are concerned.
For many more well-off households, the lockdown situation has led to a decrease in outgoings but for those on lower incomes the effect has often been to see financial pressures increase.
Research carried out since March last year shows that higher income households have saved money they would otherwise have spent because of the Covid-19 pandemic but for those on lower incomes the dynamics are often very different.
According to the Resolution Foundation, around 36 per cent of low-income households have seen their outgoings increase over the course of the pandemic, while 40 per cent of higher income families have been spending less since the crisis began.
Among the issues understood to be impacting low-income families and their finances is that the average amounts being spent on food shopping has increased because of a limiting of access to in-store discounts and promotions.
Meanwhile, many people have found themselves spending more money on food shopping each week or each month because they need to make their purchases closer to home because they need to avoid using public transport.
“The pandemic has forced society as a whole to spend less and save more. But these broad spending patterns don’t hold true for everyone,” said the Resolution Foundation’s chief executive Mike Brewer.
“The extra cost of feeding, schooling and entertaining children 24/7 means that, for many families, lockdowns have made life more expensive to live on a low income.
“With the country going into another lockdown for at least the next few months, the Chancellor should acknowledge the pandemic pressures that families with children face and reconsider plans to cut Universal Credit in just a few months’ time.”
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The Scottish government has committed to spending £64 million next year to help people in all parts of the country reduce their energy bills.
Ministers of the UK government have committed to phasing out the £20 uplift in the regular payments made via the Universal Credit system.
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