Spring is (finally) in the air
As we approach the spring bank holiday weekend and thoughts turn to summer, the weather finally looks set to improve. One upside of the terrible weather we’ve been experiencing until now means we’ve yet to feel the effects of last weeks’ widely reported shortage of Cadbury’s Flakes in our 99’s.
Here at the Foundation this month we’ve been thinking further ahead than the summer. Our reports out this month focus on how we can build back better for everyone in the UK.
Project in focus: The Fabian Society
Back in November 2019 we started working with the Fabian Society, looking at public attitudes to social security. One pandemic later, the results look rather different from anything any of us might have expected. Over one million more people have had to rely on Universal Credit and the government stepped in to replace millions of people’s incomes when businesses were forced to close. The importance of having a fair social security system has never been more acute.
The Fabian Society’s project has included:
A Citizens Jury and opinion polling which found the public backed higher benefits for 4.6 million families.
A report released just before the Budget in March, which calculated that if the £20 Universal Credit uplift was removed an extra 760,000 people would be pushed into poverty.
Stat of the month
A report released by Gingerbread and the Institute for Employment Studies last week painted a bleak picture for the UK’s two million single parents. Data in the report showed that single parents are more likely to have been furloughed (30%) than couple parents (21%) and a far greater proportion (46%) worked in hard-hit sectors like hospitality and retail compared to couple parents (26%). The report warns that when furlough ends in the autumn even more single parents may face unemployment, unless the Government and employers act now to protect jobs and ensure we really do Build Back Better for everyone.
What we like this month
New legislation has been introduced in England and Wales which allows people in debt to apply for 60 days ‘breathing space’. Most interest and charges will be frozen, and people will be given some legal protections from their creditors.
SLF in the news
The High Pay Centre used the results of research we funded to campaign for more equal pay, this was reported in The Financial Times
The results of our Financial Impact Tracker were used in a report on the struggles faced by families with children on low incomes on Yahoo
Many more rural residents will be at risk of poverty and financial hardship after lockdown ends unless action is taken the team from Rural Lives warned on BBC Radio 4 and various outlets across Scotland.
Podcast of the month
Earlier this month the IFS’s brilliant podcast ‘IFS Zooms In’ focussed on how Covid has transformed the UK labour market, and what jobs could look like in the future.
Last year we funded The IFS to conduct a review of spending and saving through the pandemic. It found income equalities were growing as wealthy households saved more whilst poorer households were unable to do so, needing to spend more of their income on essentials. Read more here.
Funding application deadline
We fund research, policy work and campaigns to improve living standards for people on low-to-middle incomes.
The next funding deadline is 3rd June 2021 (1pm)
Implications of working hours for inequality and poverty
- Date: 14 June
- Time: 11am – 12.15pm
Join the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Scottish Centre for Employment Research and IPPR Scotland as they examine how patterns of working hours are changing, and what this means for inequality and poverty in the UK.