StepChange Debt Charity, which yesterday published a joint proposal with the Money Advice Trust for a rescue package in response to the financial problems hitting households as a result of the coronavirus crisis, welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement of a new package of wage support measures today. More may still be needed if people find themselves unable to make ends meet, but overall the measures are timely and should reduce hardship for many.
Peter Tutton, head of policy at StepChange, says: “With millions of households worrying whether they’ll be able to make ends meet in the coming months, strong and meaningful support from Government is vital. This announcement brings much needed reassurance now, and should also help mitigate the anticipated surge in financial difficulties later. No-one can pretend this is going to be an easy period for household finances, but timely and decisive action will help.
“People are already being plunged into financial crisis, so the payment holidays, forbearance, protection against evictions and better help for those who are unwell are essential, as well as the wage support. We’ll need to keep a close eye on whether the benefits system keeps people out of financial harm. We are heartened by the help being offered by those firms trying to do the best by their customers and colleagues. StepChange is here to help, and we urge people who are worrying about financial difficulties not to delay getting the help they need.”
Anyone worried about the impacts of coronavirus on their finances can get instant information and signposting to further help at www.stepchange.org/coronavirus.