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16 December, 2020 Open access

Decade of austerity and increasing impoverishment of many households prior to COVID-19 pandemic is affecting impacts of containment measures, says Institute of Health Equity

New Marmot Review urges government to 'build back fairer' and scrap the benefit cap and two-child policy, taper benefits to avoid cliff edges and end the five-week wait for universal credit

The decade of austerity and increasing impoverishment of many households prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the impacts of containment measures, according to the Institute of Health Equity (IHE)

In an earlier review commissioned by the IHE and led by Michael Marmot - Health Equity in England: The Marmot review 10 years on - that was published in February 2020, the IHE had highlighted widening inequalities in the standard of living and income in England prior to the pandemic, and set out recommendations to ensure a healthy standard of living for all.

However, in its latest report looking at how COVID-19 has impacted on those inequalities - Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review - the IHE argues that, while the containment measures brought in as a result of the pandemic have had significant negative economic impacts for much of the population, the level of impact has varied considerably between households.

In particular, it highlights that - 

As a result, urging the government to learn the lessons of the pandemic and prioritise greater equity, the IHE puts forward a series of short, medium and long-term recommendations - 

Short-term - 

Medium-term -

Long-term - 

For more information, see Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review from