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From pandemic to cost of living crisis: low-income families in challenging times

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posted on 2023-04-03, 15:57 authored by Katherine HillKatherine Hill, Ruth Webber

This study looks at the experiences of a group of low-income families during the second half of the pandemic, and how they have faced a changing and increasingly uncertain world.

Emerging from the pandemic but heading into a cost-of-living crisis, families need greater stability and support to allow them to meet their needs.

  • Families on low incomes need a state safety-net that provides adequate financial support that they can rely on. Guaranteeing benefit uprating in line with expected inflation would be an important start, given rising living costs and the removal of the £20-a-week Universal Credit (UC) uplift.
  • Employment laws should support access to secure employment, with sufficient wages and rights that fit in with family life, including greater control over working hours and arrangements.
  • Statutory Sick Pay should be paid from the first day of sickness, rather than the fourth, to avoid people working when sick because they cannot afford the loss of earnings.
  • Services including the benefits system and additional financial help, mental health and other GP services, need to be easier to access with better information and easier channels of communication, whether or not people are online.
  • Priority needs to be given to helping families achieve full digital access, especially where children do not have access to a laptop or broadband.

Funding

Commissioned by: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy

Research Unit

  • Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP)

Publisher

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© Centre for Research in Social Policy, University of Loughborough

Publisher statement

Reproduction of this report by photocopying or electronic means for non-commercial purposes is permitted. Otherwise, no part of this report may be reproduced, adapted, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A pdf version of this publication is available from the JRF website (www.jrf.org.uk). Further copies of this report, or any other JRF publication, can be obtained from the JRF website (www.jrf.org.uk/publications) or by emailing info@jrf.org.uk

Publication date

2022-05-12

Copyright date

2022

ISBN

9781915305022

Language

  • en

Depositor

Katherine Hill. Deposit date: 29 March 2023

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