One Excluded member at risk of losing their home is mum-to-be Emma Kiernan, who fell into huge rent arrears after being denied furlough. She started her new job as a legal assistant on March 2 but was not put on the pay roll until after March 19, meaning she missed the HMRC cut off date.
The 31-year-old, from Birmingham, was made redundant in April and had to quit her part time studies so she could be eligible for benefits. Her first Universal Credit payment did not come through until June, ‘a grand total of £640’, which does not even cover her rent. Emma broke up with her partner in lockdown and has had to borrow money off family members throughout the pandemic to pay for food shopping. Although her landlord was initially sympathetic, she is now being asked to cough up over £2,000 in missed payments and fears what will happen when the ban on evictions ends next month.
Emma Kiernan missed the furlough cut off date after starting a new job just before the pandemic hit Emma said: ‘I have never in my life found it so difficult to survive financially. I feel like I am in a massive hole that will take at least a year for me to recover from, if not longer. ‘I did not ask for this to happen to me. I was studying to better my future prospects. I moved jobs as my old job was desperately effecting my mental health as well as my physical health.
My new job was perfect for me, close to home, a good wage, surrounded by lovely hard working staff. Things were looking good for me, I was excited about my future. ‘I turned 31 years old in May and have worked in law without any gaps in employment since the age of 17, paying taxes solidly for my 14 years of adulthood. I now find myself penniless, in huge debt, all while being 6 months pregnant. The stress and damage this has caused me is astronomical, I am having to seek help for my mental health.’
Excluded UK have vowed to continue campaigning and are starting a fundraising initiative to help people in need of financial and mental health support. ‘We are really worried about the mental health impact of people being excluded,’ said spokesperson Rachel Flower. ‘People feel broken, betrayed and abandoned. We cannot stand by and watch. This does not end here. ‘The government is saying they will turn their back on these people and we are saying we will not. If we have to start fundraising ourselves then shame on the government, that is what we will do.’ Repeating the statement from last week, a Treasury spokesperson said they had helped millions of companies and individuals. ‘We have kept more than nine and a half million people in work, supported the incomes of 2.6 million self-employed people and helped businesses across the UK get through the outbreak – acting quickly to deliver one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support in the world worth an initial £160 billion. ‘As part of the next phase of our economic plan to rebuild and recover the UK, we recent announced Our Plan for Jobs. We have made up to £30bn available to support, protect and create jobs, helping ensure people and businesses can come back from this crisis stronger.’
Read the full story here: https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/30/mum-cystic-fibrosis-forced-break-shielding-earn-money-lockdown-13050708/
ExcludedUK is a newly formed non-profit NGO and serves as a collective platform for those entirely or largely excluded from the UK Government's Covid-19 financial support measures. We are a rapidly growing organisation and an inclusive community, representing a broad spectrum of individuals and businesses, but all sharing one common thread: we are excluded.As an organisation we will play a crucial role in facilitating support and assistance on multiple levels, both for now and into the future.Our aim is to build a stronger platform, raise awareness, lobby for support, raise funds for legal challenges and help enable the changes that are needed for those excluded.Most importantly, our hope is that our efforts can help propel affected individuals and businesses forward in the face of adversity resulting from Covid-19 and being excluded from Government support, while equally ensuring we are all able to help each other emerge from this crisis.