Search rightsnet
Search options

Where

Benefit

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction

From

to

18 June, 2020 Open access

Almost two thirds of families on universal credit have been forced to borrow money since start of coronavirus crisis

Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children call for £20 per week increase to child element in light of new research which also shows that 70 per cent of families have cut back on food and other essentials

Almost two thirds of families on universal credit have been forced to borrow money since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, according to new research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Save the Children.

In a new report, A lifeline for our children: Strengthening the social security system for families with children during this pandemic' Save the Children and the JRF set out the findings from a recent survey of 3,105 parents of children under 18 who were claiming either universal credit or child tax credit.

The report's key findings include that -

In light of these findings, Save the Children and the JRF are calling for for an urgent, temporary increase of £20 per week to the child element of universal credit and child tax credit which would provide direct support to four million families and eight million children.

Commenting on the report, JRF Acting Director Helen Barnard said -

'Families are dealing with high costs with children at home and many simply haven’t got the income they need to weather the storm. This is taking a major toll on parents’ mental and physical health and damaging family life during an intense period for everyone.

Providing an urgent uplift of £20 per week to families with children claiming universal credit or child tax credit can keep many from being pulled into poverty, especially where parents have lost work as a result of the pandemic.

By taking action now, we can ensure that the human suffering of this tragic pandemic is not compounded by rising child poverty, damaging life chances and holding a generation back in the years to come.'

For more information, see Nearly two thirds of families on universal credit forced into lockdown debt ‘nightmare’ from jrf.org.uk