Thursday, January 21, 2021

The widening gap

 Nearly nine million people had to borrow more money last year because of the impact of coronavirus, government figures show.

Since June last year, the proportion of workers borrowing £1,000 or more had increased from 35% to 45%, said the Office for National Statistics.

Self-employed people were more likely than employees to borrow money. There was also a large increase in the proportion of disabled people borrowing similar sums, the ONS added.

Parents living with children were almost twice as likely to report a reduction in income as the rest of the population, the ONS added.

This was adding to a "widening financial gap" between households.

Overall, young people and low earners have been worst hit by the pandemic, according to the ONS survey. Those aged under 30 and those with household incomes of less than £10,000 were about 35% and 60% respectively more likely to be furloughed than the population as a whole.

Meanwhile, higher-paid workers were more likely to be on full pay if they were unable to work.

Gueorguie Vassilev from the ONS said: "Many people took a financial hit in the first months of the pandemic, either being furloughed or working fewer hours. What we are seeing now, though, is a widening financial gap between households, where some people are relying on savings or borrowing to make ends meet. Those hardest hit are people on low pay, young people and parents of dependent children."

Covid: Nine million people forced to borrow more to cope - BBC News

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