Connect with us

Economics

New data shows COVID will continue to have a negative financial impact on many UK households

Bleak expectations for 2022.

Published

on

The economic effects of COVID have not been equal. Shutterstock/Andrii Zastrozhnov

Ever since it started, the pandemic has exacerbated the inequality that already existed between households in the UK. Those with secure incomes, savings and assets have been able to deal with the financial shocks of COVID, while millions of others have not.

A recent survey of 5,770 people suggests that this inequality could widen even further. For most of the 4.7 million households whose financial situation has already deteriorated a lot according to the data, the outlook for 2022 is expected to get worse.

It’s a vicious cycle. For many, COVID caused a prolonged and deep financial shock brought about by a loss of earnings. This meant they drew heavily on savings (if they had any) and increased the amount they owed on credit cards, overdrafts and loans.

This was often accompanied by a considerable and enforced negative change in spending patterns. In some cases, spending fell because people had to cut back to make ends meet, while in others spending went up to due to rises in the cost of essentials such as food and fuel.

In contrast, there were 1.7 million households whose financial situation has improved a lot since the start of the pandemic. They experienced a “virtuous circle” in which 57% saw their savings increase due to factors such as home working and severely curtailed social activities (and therefore spending).

This also led to 17% owing considerably less than they did before. Only 4% of them saw their spending change for negative reasons.

Among those whose financial situation has already deteriorated substantially, the outlook was estimated to be “poor” or “quite poor” for 72% of them (3.4 million households). The outlook was similarly bleak for single-parent households (65%), those with a disabled inhabitant (66%) and households receiving Universal Credit (83%).

Polarising pandemic

A separate review of around 240 publications about the pandemic’s financial impact paints a similar picture of a divided population. The overall story from these research papers by academics, thinktanks, charities and others was remarkably consistent across the worst affected groups: people with disabilities, members of some minority ethnic groups, single parents, people in insecure work and renters.

It was a story of disadvantage in the labour market, of reduced incomes and low financial resilience, of increased expenditure and financial burdens, and of unequal and often insufficient state support. By October 2020, for example, a growing disability pay gap meant that disabled people working full-time were earning £3,800 less per year, on average, than their non-disabled counterparts. That’s an increase on the previous year of £800.

So despite comparatively positive forecasts elsewhere about economic growth and employment, at a household level the evidence paints a picture of increased poverty and inequality over the longer term. By 2025, an estimated 23% of people in the UK (roughly 15 million) will be living in relative poverty, up from 21.1% in 2021.

Piggy bank wearing a face mask.
Lost savings. Shutterstock/NAR studio

Echoing the UK government’s early response to the pandemic, the main target of recent interventions such as an increase in the national living wage has been low-income working households rather than those which are not in work. Proposals for additional support also do not offset previous deep cuts to social security and local government funding over the last decade.

In response, there have been calls for immediate action to tackle rising energy bills and [increase Universal Credit payments]. Others argue for improvements in the availability and affordability of childcare as well as more secure and affordable housing. It is also worth noting the apparent lack of recognition by the government of the links between financial difficulty and wellbeing, despite strong evidence of a link between poverty and poor mental health.

Since our survey data was collected in October 2021, the economic outlook has been further hit by rising inflation (which reached 5.1% the following month). The cost of fuel, gas and electricity are all expected to go up in 2022, which particularly affects lower-income households who spend a greater proportion of their income on essentials. At the start of 2022 then, it seems that those who have already suffered the greatest economic hardship will continue to bear the financial brunt of the pandemic.

Sharon Collard receives funding from abrdn Financial Fairness Trust (formerly Standard Life Foundation).

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions
PR Newswire
NEW YORK, May 17, 2022

NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined today nearly…

Published

on

Global Industry Statement on the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joined today nearly 100 other global trade and industry associations to urge WTO members to renew the Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June.

According to the statement, allowing the Moratorium to expire would be a historic setback for the WTO, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement in place nearly since the WTO's inception – an agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow. All WTO members have a stake in the organization's continued institutional credibility and resilience, as well as its relevance at a time of unprecedented digital transformation.

Continuation of the Moratorium is critical to the COVID-19 recovery. As detailed by the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and many other organizations, the cross-border exchange of knowledge, technical know-how, and scientific and commercial information across transnational IT networks, as well as access to digital tools and global market opportunities have helped sustain economies, expand education, and raise global living standards.

Continuation of the Moratorium is also important to supply chain resilience for manufacturing and services industries in the COVID-19 era. Manufacturers – both large and small, and across a range of industrial sectors – rely on the constant flow of research, design, and process data and software to enable their production flows and supply chains for critical products.

The Moratorium is particularly beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), whose ability to access and leverage digital tools has allowed them to stay in business amidst physical restrictions and lockdowns.

Failure to renew the Moratorium will jeopardize these benefits, as customs restrictions that interrupt cross-border access to knowledge and digital tools will harm MSMEs, the global supply chain, and COVID-19 recovery – increasing digital fragmentation. As UNCTAD has explained, such fragmentation "reduces market opportunities for domestic MSMEs to reach worldwide markets, [and] ... reduces opportunities for digital innovation, including various missed opportunities for inclusive development that can be facilitated by engaging in data-sharing through strong international cooperation.... [M]ost small, developing economies will lose opportunities for raising their digital competitiveness." 

The rest of the statement can be found here.

Media Contact: Kira Yevtukhova, kyevtukhova@uscib.org

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-industry-statement-on-the-wto-moratorium-on-customs-duties-on-electronic-transmissions-301549543.html

SOURCE United States Council for International Business

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

“The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter”: Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch…

Published

on

"The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter": Musk Delivers Scathing Criticism Of Biden

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Tech billionaire Elon Musk this week warned that the United States must take steps to address inflation or it will end up like socialist Venezuela.

Musk, who is currently in the process of acquiring Twitter, told a virtual conference that he believes the government has printed too much money in recent years.

“I mean, the obvious reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount of more money than it had, obviously,” Musk said, likely referring to COVID-19 relief stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars that were passed in recent years.

U.S. inflation rose by 8.3 percent in April, compared with the previous year. That’s slightly lower than the 8.5 percent spike in March, but it’s still near the 40-year high.

“So it’s like the government can’t … issue checks far in excess of revenue without there being inflation, you know, velocity of money held constant,” the Tesla CEO said.

“If the federal government writes checks, they never bounce. So that is effectively creation of more dollars. And if there are more dollars created, then the increase in the goods and services across the economy, then you have inflation, again, velocity of money held constant.”

If governments could merely “issue massive amounts of money and deficits didn’t matter, then, well, why don’t we just make the deficit 100 times bigger,” Musk asked. “The answer is, you can’t because it will basically turn the dollar into something that is worthless.”

“Various countries have tried this experiment multiple times,” Musk said.

“Have you seen Venezuela? Like the poor, poor people of Venezuela are, you know, have been just run roughshod by their government.”

In 2018, Venezuela, a country with significant reserves of oil and gas, saw its inflation rise more than 65,000 percent amid an economic crash that included plummeting oil prices and government price controls. The regime of Nicolas Maduro then started printing money, thereby devaluing its currency, which caused prices to rapidly increase.

During the conference, Musk also said the Biden administration “doesn’t seem to get a lot done” and questioned who is actually in charge. 

“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” he said.

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

“The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done,” he remarked.

Musk’s comment about the White House comes as Jeff Bezos, also one of the richest people in the world, has increasingly started to target the administration’s economic policies. Bezos, in a series of Twitter posts, said the rapid increase in federal spending is the reason why inflation is as high as it is.

“Remember the Administration tried their best to add another $3.5 TRILLION to federal spending,” Bezos wrote on Monday, drawing rebuke from several White House officials. “They failed, but if they had succeeded, inflation would be even higher than it is today, and inflation today is at a 40-year high.”

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 15:05

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum
PR Newswire
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Elizabeth Pagliarini, COO…

Published

on

Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. COO/CFO Elizabeth Pagliarini participates in the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum

PR Newswire

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Elizabeth Pagliarini, COO/CFO of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. ("Summit") joined five other industry leaders on the Executive Roundtable at the 9th Annual IMN Real Estate CFO & COO Forum at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. The panelists shared their thoughts and experiences regarding the post pandemic environment, namely the recovery progress and how businesses are changing, trends in tenant lease terms, and the transition back to working in the office and its implications for new hires. They also provided insights into the availability of financing and how terms have changed over the past six months, how they are managing supply chain crises, rising costs of sourcing and materials, and staffing shortages, the changes made to core processes over the past 18 months and whether these changes would be permanent, and how investor communications have changed in recent months.

About Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. 
Summit is a publicly registered non-traded REIT that is currently focused on investing in seniors housing and care real estate located throughout the United States. The current portfolio includes interests in 53 facilities in 14 states. Please visit our website at: http://www.summithealthcarereit.com

This material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. 

This release may contain forward-looking statements relating to the business and financial outlook of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. that are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on any such statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements contained in this release. Such factors include those described in the Risk Factors sections of the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the quarterly report for the period ended March 31, 2022. Forward-looking statements in this document speak only as of the date on which such statements were made, and we undertake no obligation to update any such statements that may become untrue because of subsequent events. We claim the safe harbor protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

CONTACT
Chris Kavanagh
(800) 978-8136
ckavanagh@summithealthcarereit.com

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/summit-healthcare-reit-inc-coocfo-elizabeth-pagliarini-participates-in-the-9th-annual-imn-real-estate-cfo--coo-forum-301549445.html

SOURCE Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending