3. The impact of coronavirus on poverty
The national policy response to the coronavirus, including the short-term and longer-term impacts of lockdown on the local, national and global economy, is likely to lead to many more people in East Devon experiencing economic hardship. Many people in the district have already experienced a loss of income due to furloughing, redundancy or difficulty finding self-employed work.
It is likely that the lockdown will push some people into economic hardship who have previously been relatively well off. It will also exacerbate existing poverty for people on low incomes, with those who have no credit history or savings to fall back likely to be hit particularly hard. A combination of economic hardship and the social restrictions of lockdown have also led to an increase in mental health issues, loneliness and isolation.
During 2020 and subsequent years, it is likely that the economic and social effects of Covid-19 will continue to be felt in the district. If the recession continues, it is likely that unemployment will increase, incomes will drop for many residents, and the number of people claiming Universal Credit and other benefits will increase. People who were already on low incomes before lockdown are more likely to be impacted by the longer-term economic consequences of the pandemic.
As part of its Anti-Poverty Strategy, the Council will work with partner organisations and local communities to respond to both the initial and longer-term impacts of coronavirus on residents and local communities.