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One in four people will not recover financially from Covid for another year

A QUARTER of people will not recover financially from the Covid-19 crisis for at least another year, national poverty charity Turn2Us has warned.

People who have lost income and incurred debts since March 2020 will need an average of 17 months to get their finances back to pre-pandemic levels, according to the charity. 

The time needed for people to recover is “clear evidence” that the government should not pull away support schemes too quickly and that it has a clear moral obligation to make permanent the £20 uplift to universal credit (UC), Turn2Us says.

In the charity’s survey of over 2,000 people, one in five said that they are now struggling to pay bills, one in six are struggling to afford food, and one in seven are struggling to afford their rent or mortgage payments.

Financial worries have also had a clear effect on people’s well-being, with 62 per cent reporting that their mental health has been affected “at least a little bit” and 33 per cent saying that they have suffered “significant consequences.”

Money and Mental Health Policy Institute chief executive Helen Undy said: “Mental health problems and debt can be a marriage made in hell, and these issues have become even more acute in the current crisis with millions more people affected.”

Ms Undy agreed that the UC uplift must be made permanent and extended to other benefits, adding that the government should ensure access to adequate sick pay for all.

There were six million people on UC on January 14 2021, according to official data — a 98 per cent increase since March 12 2020.

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