Extend the acts or households of Covid face ‘cliffs,’ Labour says

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Party says Universal Credit increase, eviction ban and mortgage holidays must continue

Many low- and middle-income families will face financial distress if ministers do not retain funding during the second wave of Covid-19 for those who have lost their jobs or endured significant revenue cuts, Labour has said.

“to protect struggling households from financial ruin.”to protect struggling households from financial ruin.

Dodds said a mortgage holiday scheme and a moratorium on home repossessions should be extended past Jan. 31, although before the recession is over, a £ 20-a-week boost in Universal Credit expiring April 6 should remain in place.

In November, a Bank of England study found that during the first wave of the pandemic, 28 percent of households suffered a decrease in income, rising to 66 percent for the self-employed.

Dodds said, “Whether employed, self-employed, on welfare, or a combination of all three, Britain’s beleaguered households face several cliffs in the early months of 2021.”
The deadlines looming include:
– Jan. 11: End of the eviction ban.

– Jan. 29: Deadline for applying for the third grant under Self-Employed Income Support.

– January 31: The prohibition on home repossessions has expired.

– March 31: Deadline for applications for government-sponsored lending services and deadline for mortgage holidays.

– April 6: Government to slash the rise in Universal Credit by £ 20 a week.

– 30 April: Termination of the Furlough Jobs Scheme.

Price analysis website Energy Helpline estimates that during the pandemic, the number of UK customers in debt to their supplier of electricity hit a five-year high and is on track to get worse.

Citing figures obtained through a request for freedom of information from regulator Ofgem, the website said that between July and September, about 777,000 households were in debt, a number not seen since the same time in 2015.

Compared to the same quarter in 2019, the first three quarters of the calendar year saw a rise in the amount of customers in debt to their utility, with a 12 percent increase for January-March, a 5 percent increase for April-June, and a 7 percent increase for July-September.

It called on Ofgem and utilities to “do everything in their power to support the most vulnerable consumers who are struggling to pay their energy bills due to the pandemic.”

“Today’s numbers could be the beginning of a spike in energy debt across the country. Not only are consumers facing higher bills because they are using more energy at home, but the pandemic is also leading to the real prospect of more expensive energy into 2021,” said Tom Lyon, Director of Energy Helpline, in a statement.

After research found they entered the pandemic with some of the lowest savings rate in the developing world, the Labour Party said British households were among the worst prepared for a financial crisis.

UK households saved £ 3,055 less than the G7 group average of other economies in 2019, and when the first lockout was imposed last March, a fifth had less than £ 100 in savings.

“Dodds said, “The reckless choices made by the Conservatives over the past decade have left many British households heading into this crisis without a penny in the bank. They had nothing to fall back on when Covid struck – and now some are on the verge of financial ruin as several cliffs of Covid funding loom.

The shambolic, last-minute handling of this crisis by the Chancellor has thrown the United Kingdom into the worst decline of any global economy, but he seems to have learned no lessons.

“Families across the country will continue to suffer unless he fixes Britain’s broken safety net and addresses the root causes of income insecurity in our country.”

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