Rising poverty among children and pensioners shows why Covid inquiry must consider its impact

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is calling for any public inquiry into Covid-19 to examine the impact of the UK’s high poverty levels going into the pandemic on its health and economic impacts.

Commenting on the figures, Helen Barnard, Director of JRF said:

“Going into the pandemic, 14.5 million people were trapped in poverty, with 600,000 more children and 500,000 more pensioners pulled into poverty in the last six years. Around half of all lone parents and people from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds were living in poverty. In a society like ours, this is indefensible.

“The evidence we have so far from our own research and conversations with people experiencing poverty shows that the pandemic has made an already difficult situation much tougher. Millions of people who were already locked in poverty by insecure low-paid jobs and expensive housing found themselves at an increased risk of catching the virus.

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