Nearly half of families with children have been forced into some form of debt since the start of the pandemic, prompting warnings that Britain risks becoming a nation “surviving on credit”.
Almost 18 million people, a third of the population, have had to use credit cards, go into their overdraft or borrow from friends and family since March. 3.6 million families have been pushed into debt. One in 10 families with children had been forced to sell belongings to make ends meet since March, while three in four parents had worked extra hours or taken on an extra job.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said more families now risk being pushed into economic hardship and groups who already faced poverty were likely to see their income reduced further, because coronavirus was “exacerbating existing inequalities”.
People on furlough were considerably more likely to be borrowing money, with half of those who have been furloughed since March falling into debt, compared to 23 per cent of people who have seen no change to the employment.
Thomas Lawson, chief executive at Turn2us, said financial resilience across the UK was at an “all-time low.”
“Even if a vaccine for Covid-19 became available tomorrow, the damage has been done to people’s finances. People have spent their savings and used up their rainy day funds, there is nothing left,” he said.