DEC/BAME groups hit harder by lockdown but benefited from financial education – UCL/Money A+E report
New research by the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity in collaboration with Money A+E shows that Londoners from Diverse Ethnic Communities (DEC)* (BAME) were disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of lockdown.
But the report also showed that individuals’ situations were improved by financial education.
Just under one third (30%) of respondents to the report survey...reported not paying rent at some point during lockdown. The majority of Money A+E’s service users are non-White British.
Just under one third (30%) of respondents to the report survey, conducted in July 2020 among previous users of Money A+E services, reported not paying rent at some point during lockdown.
The majority of Money A+E’s service users are non-White British, and the organisation provides money advice and education services in Newham – one of the local areas hit hardest by the virus (144.3 deaths per 100,000 people in April 2020 – Guardian) – and other deprived London boroughs.
Nearly one quarter (23%) reported having services (gas, electricity or internet) turned off during the same period. This is significantly higher than the national average of one in nine (11%) who are reported to have fallen behind on bills (Citizens Advice).
Money management skills had a positive impact on respondents’ lives during lockdown
It showed that money management skills had a positive impact on respondents’ lives during lockdown, with 60% of respondents stating that Money A+E’s advice and education had helped their financial situation.
The report also reveals that 30% of survey respondents were unemployed – a figure far in excess of the national unemployment rate of 4.1% during May-July 2020 (ONS) – and that 45% of this group had been made redundant during the lockdown period.
The report suggests that Diverse Ethnic Communities are most at risk of the effects of the coming second wave of redundancies and recession, and that there is an urgent need to address these inequalities with financial education at the heart of solutions.