Coronavirus briefing: we need a lifeline to help people keep their heads above water

We welcome the Government's bold and compassionate measures that will offer security to families in this time of turmoil. Our briefing sets out recommendations for more measures to help people who don't yet have the lifeline they need.

But there are many of us, people who are already in poverty and people who could be swept into it, who will not yet be feeling like they have been offered the lifeline they need to weather this storm. 

This briefing calls on the Government to go further than its current measures and offer security to those of us who are not yet covered by the initial steps.  

  1. Provide people with the security of staying in work by extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to workers taking time off work for childcare or to self-isolate, and extending the Scheme to those reducing working hours as well as those who are being granted a leave of absence (‘furloughed’). 
  2. Get more money into people’s pockets to hold them steady by increasing the level of Statutory Sick Pay to align with the Job Retention Scheme and extending eligibility to low earners. Provide urgent support to the self-employed on a par with the Job Retention Scheme, and strengthen the social security system so that it provides an anchor we can all rely on at this turbulent time. 
  3. Make sure people can meet their housing costs and stay in their homes by offering renters real protection from eviction, and temporarily increasing the Local Housing Allowance to cover median rents.