STEPCHANGE & EXCLUDEDUK ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP
ExcludedUK, the organisation set up to help and support the estimated three million people who have received no significant financial support from the UK government during the coronavirus crisis and StepChange, the debt advice charity that helps people deal with debt, have teamed up to provide urgent community debt support and advice for ExcludedUK members, many of whom, after over eight months of no financial support, are now facing serious financial crisis.
Since the pandemic began, almost 5 million people have fallen into debt, owing an estimated £6.1billion. Over half a million people are facing housing insecurity, but there are many people who are struggling just to afford essentials.
Many of these people are from the ExcludedUK community, who are suffering significant financial hardship given the Chancellor's continued refusal to remotely acknowledge the plight of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded from the government Covid-19 financial schemes.
A recent survey run by ExcludedUK with over 3000 respondents revealed some worrying statistics regarding those who have been denied access to the same level of support as other taxpayers that have benefited from the SEISS and CJRS schemes providing up to 80% of workers incomes; Over half (51%) of those excluded have had an income less than £500 per month since the start of March, and 60% of those surveyed have been unable to take advantage of rent/mortgage holiday. Those that have been unable to rely on savings, or whose savings have been exhausted are being forced to take on debt in order to stay afloat.
Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange says, “It’s estimated that up to 9 million people are facing financial difficulty at the moment, either as a direct result of the pandemic, or because it has exacerbated an existing debt problem. We’re delighted to be working with ExcludedUK to reach more people who might need our help.”
ExcludedUK and StepChange are in the process of organising a series of live online Q&A events with experienced debt advisers, to offer practical advice, debt support and reassurance to ExcludedUK members who are worried about debt.
ExcludedUK founder, Anneka Hicks, says, “For eight months the Chancellor has refused to provide a considerable chunk of the working population with fair and equal financial support, which, based on a recent survey has lead to 1 in 5 of our community now at risk of losing their homes. The situation upon us is incredibly desperate and we care passionately about the welfare of our community which has lead us needing to partner with a number of charities to ensure we're able to offer our members the urgent support and advice they need, so we are delighted to be working with StepChange.”
Problem debt - which is where people become unable to pay their debts and other household bills - is proven to be detrimental to well being and can lead to mental health problems.
Coupled with recession and rising unemployment, it is now likely that the UK is on the brink of a massive Mental Health crisis and ExcludedUK is seeing a huge increase in members suffering from mental health problems.
This is one of a series of partnerships designed to provide the community with the support it so desperately needs. ExcludedUK is also working with BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy), Red Umbrella, and National Counselling Society as well many other mental health advice and support organisations and charities.
ExcludedUK is hosting a FREE LIVE EVENT with Richard Lane from StepChange on Thursday 19th November at 15:00.
For more – see ExcludedUK – www.excludeduk.org
ExcludedUK is a volunteer-led grassroots non-profit organisation seeking to amplify the voices of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded through no fault of their own, and is committed to continuing to work towards bringing an end to the unfairness, injustice and discrimination in the Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures.
Anneka Hicks, Founder
Melissa Knight, Director
Case studies available on request
Notes to editors:
- ExcludedUK is a grassroots volunteer-run not-for-profit organisation established in response to the financial challenges faced by individuals and businesses entirely or largely excluded from government Covid-19 financial support.
- ExcludedUK's estimate of 3 million excluded from meaningful government Covid-19 financial support, has also been backed up by Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) and Standard Life Foundation which referred to 3 million households as being ‘unprotected’.This staggering figure has been reinforced by statistics released by the National Audit Office on 23 October, which found that 2.9 million were not eligible for the government Covid-19 financial support schemes. This report also highlighted the fact that many who have lost income have not been able to access support, thus contradicting the Government's repeated statements that everyone has been helped in some way. In a report published by the Resolution Foundation last week, it was recognised that this crisis is far from over, and poorly targeted schemes have resulted in huge disparities.