Rishi Sunak, the UK chancellor, risks plunging more than 3 million people into poverty if he goes ahead with a planned cut in welfare payments next spring, one of Britain’s leading leftwing thinktanks has warned.
A new study by the Fabian Society found that returning benefits to their pre-pandemic levels after a year-long boost would leave an additional 1.1 million people below the poverty line even on the most optimistic assumptions for the economy.
It added, however, that if the government removed the £20 a week supplement to universal credit (UC) against a backdrop of mass unemployment, the impact would be three times as severe, with 3.2 million people living in poverty:
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Millions of people in low-income countries have been forced to go without healthcare or have had to pay for it during the coronavirus pandemic, despite billions of pounds in emergency World Bank funding, research has found.
The World Bank’s $6bn (£4.45bn) emergency health fund to 71 countries in response to Covid-19 failed to strengthen health systems or remove financial barriers to using them, according to an Oxfam report published on Friday.
Oxfam reviewed the World Bank’s project documents to assess its support for water, sanitation and hygiene services and public health promotion; action to remove financial barriers to healthcare; and work on increasing the supply of healthcare workers and the role of the private sector in the public health response:
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