Patricia Gibson MP has demanded that the UK Government urgently introduce a comprehensive financial package, strengthen welfare protections and extend the furlough scheme into 2021 after a new report revealed six million people in the UK have fallen behind on bills due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The research by Citizens Advice shows one in nine adults have reported falling behind on household bills - with around a fifth having to go without essentials - because of the impact of Covid-19. Carers, key workers, people with disabilities and those who shielded are twice as likely to have fallen behind on payments and this figure is likely to rise dramatically if the UK Government presses ahead with plans to wind down the furlough scheme in October.
Mrs Gibson said:
“These findings are another stark warning that the UK Government must urgently bring forward a comprehensive financial support package, strengthen welfare protections and extend the furlough scheme into 2021.
“With many households witnessing a loss in income or employment, it is clear that stronger and extended support measures are desperately needed to prevent people taking on unmanageable levels of debt, counter rising unemployment and to ensure a strong economic recovery.
“It is now critical that the UK Government commits to investing in stimulating economic growth and boost jobs and explores measures to alleviate the financial burden facing households, including an emergency basic payment, an emergency coronavirus energy grant and a six-month reprieve on utilities being cut off.”
Citizens Advice Press Release: