Home Business NewsBusiness 700,000 Brits driven into poverty by the Covid crisis

700,000 Brits driven into poverty by the Covid crisis

by LLB Editor
8th Dec 20 7:23 am

According to a recent thinktank analysis, almost 700,000 people in the UK have been plunged into poverty as a result of the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. This figure includes 120,000 children.

The Legatum Institute, which uses poverty measures developed by the independent Social Metrics Commission, also estimates that a further 700,000 people have been prevented from falling below the breadline by the chancellor’s temporary £20-a-week boost to universal credit. This scheme was introduced in April to help claimants cope with the extra costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, the institute found that the pandemic has pushed the total number of people living in poverty in the UK to more than 15 million, which equates to 23% of the population.

Now, nationally representative research commissioned by travel money provider, Bidwedge, has found that 16% of Brits have enough foreign currency lying around at home to cover a week’s living expenses.

Key stats from the research found that:

– 16% of Brits – 6,329,000 people – have enough foreign currency lying around at home to cover a week’s living expenses

– 26% of Brits – 10,119,000 – still have foreign currency from holidays that happened over ten years ago

Shon Alam, Founder of currency exchange platform Bidwegde (https://bidwedge.com), comments on these findings, and explains how the British public can best utilise their foreign currency to help boost their personal finances during this challenging time.

“These findings are striking, although not entirely surprising. For years, travellers have held on to their remaining foreign currency, as it generally isn’t worth converting smaller sums of money due to poor exchange rates.

“For millions, this period of time has put us in some of the most financially difficult times in living memory. Unfortunately, disruption to businesses and careers have become a synonymous feature of living through 2020. While government support schemes like the furlough scheme have been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country, for many of us, the impact the pandemic has had on our personal finances have been ubiquitous. As many are struggling to see this Christmas period through without accumulating even more debt, we implore others to pursue innovative ways of managing finances.

“It might come as a surprise to many, but exchanging foreign currency lying at the bottom of the sock drawer could be an ideal solution to ease the financial burden of Christmas. With £4 billion lying around in unused foreign exchange in the UK alone, it would be financially prudent to assess if exchanging could give you a little more breathing space.”

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