Thursday, June 11, 2020

Inequality exacerbated by pandemic

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to make life worse for the most vulnerable groups.

The Covid-19 report – part of a five-year IFS project on inequality – found that:

  • 1. Low earners were most likely to work in shut-down sectors, to have been furloughed or be at risk of unemployment. 
  • 2. A gap in death rates between better-off and less affluent neighbourhoods, as well as between some ethnic minorities and the white majority, had widened further.
  • 3. Some minority ethnic groups, especially those of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, were much more likely to work in shut-down sectors. Black groups were disproportionately represented in key worker occupations and had been contracting Covid-19 at far higher rates than the white majority.
  • 4. Workers under 25 were twice as likely as those over 25 to work in a locked-down sector.
  • 5. Mothers were more likely than fathers to take on the additional childcare and housework duties caused by the lockdown.
  • 6. Private schools were almost twice as likely to be providing online teaching as the state schools attended by children from the fifth most deprived families. 
Robert Joyce, the deputy director at IFS, and an author of the report, said: “The crisis has laid bare existing inequalities and risks exacerbating them..."

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