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4 December, 2020 Open access

Returning benefits to pre-pandemic levels will push between one and three million people into poverty

In light of new analysis, Fabian Society says that 'it is now essential that ministers put the 2020 social security increases on a permanent footing'

Returning benefits to their pre-pandemic levels will push between one and three million people into poverty, according to a new report from the Fabian Society.

Introducing Double Trouble - mass unemployment and benefit cuts after the pandemic, the Fabian Society highlights that while there is every reason to expect a steep rise in unemployment in 2021 once the furlough and business support measures introduced to support workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic come to an end, ministers are planning to implement a huge cut in social security at the same time by reversing temporary benefit policies - including the increase in the main adult allowance for universal credit of around £20 per week - in April 2021.

Having gone on to examine the consequences of the cuts to social security for families, the Fabian Society concludes that -

As a result, the Fabian Society says -

'Without action, family incomes and spending power will fall and poverty will rise dramatically, compared to the position we have seen this year with emergency protective measures in place. It is now essential that ministers put the 2020 social security increases on a permanent footing.'

Double Trouble - mass unemployment and benefit cuts after the pandemic is available from fabian.org.uk