COVID-19 provokes a surge in unemployment benefit claims in the UK, with claimants encountering a system that is “cruel, inhumane and degrading” and the “second harshest in the world”
The unprecedented, rapid levels of global unemployment resulting from COVID-19 and the lockdown restrictions saw huge pressures put on social protection systems worldwide. In the UK, claimants for the Universal Credit benefit reached record levels during the lockdown months of April and May.
Last week, the United Kingdom’s social protection system took yet another big step back towards the 19th Century. The news broke that, during the current COVID-19 lockdown, when schools are closed to most pupils, the Government is providing schoolchildren living in poverty with food handouts, rather than offering their families cash. To make a bad situation worse, the food on offer is of limited nutritional quality while the main beneficiary of the scheme has been the business that was contracted by the Government...
“The UK has in place one of the least generous social security systems in the developed world” warns report titled: A Family Stimulus: Supporting children, families and the economy through the pandemic recently released by Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in collaboration with Trades Union Congress (TUC).