JRF response to the Summer Economic Update

Responding to the Chancellor's statement, Helen Barnard, Acting Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“The Chancellor has rightly announced a positive package of measures to tackle the risk of long-term youth unemployment and innovative policies to protect jobs in hospitality and tourism. As we chart a course to economic recovery, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past by adopting an “any job will do” mentality. An inclusive recovery that tackles poverty must target investment in skills and opportunities in areas with weaker economies and support those people bearing the brunt of furlough unwinding, job losses and reduction in hours.

“Now is the time to unleash a good jobs recovery which rights the wrong of in-work poverty by tackling low pay, insecure hours and lack of flexible employment. Investing in young people is welcome, but we also need a plan to address the barriers holding back women, people from ethnic minorities and disabled people in the labour market. We also need to ensure that workers over 25 receive the support they need to obtain skills to succeed in the changing jobs market and escape poverty.

“While the Chancellor’s statement looked to the future, we cannot lose sight of the fact that many families are being pulled deeper into poverty and debt right now despite the measures the government has already taken. We urge the Chancellor to urgently reconsider increasing the child element of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits by £20 a week to help families stay afloat during this period of considerable anxiety.

“Only by doing all of this will the government deliver for low-income families who are going through the most serious crisis for generations and repay the trust many placed in the Conservative Party at the last election.”