StepChange call on Rishi Sunak to avoid ‘crisis’ by changing Universal Credit | Personal Finance | Finance

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The government and regulators must extend and strengthen protections for those experiencing financial difficulty during the pandemic

This, according to the charity, specifically concerns the bills and costs families are faced with on a day to day basis.

StepChange detailed: “More than three million people negatively affected by coronavirus have fallen behind on essential bills such as council tax, rent and utilities since March, despite support mechanisms in place.

“With some of these mechanisms coming to an end, and restrictions and social distancing set to continue well into next year, the government and regulators risk leaving millions more at risk of aggressive enforcement action, eviction and insolvency unless they update and extend protections.”

The second pillar concerned financial support ideas yet to be fully embraced by the government.

StepChange is calling for targeted government funding to help households struggling financially due to Covid. The funding would pay for interest-free loans, with re-payment contingent on income, to help struggling households address Covid-related arrears and debt safely.

The charity explained: “StepChange estimates there are nearly three million people affected by coronavirus who are now at high risk of long-term debt problems.

“As a matter of necessity, the government should act to help financially vulnerable people in this group, through the creation of targeted funding that provides no-interest loans with deferred, income-contingent repayment to help the following three groups of households

  • Households with unmanageable priority arrears
  • Households who will be forced to into survival borrowing to make ends meet
  • Households who have had to borrow to pay for essentials due to coronavirus





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