Woman with mask

When announcing his roadmap out of the pandemic the Prime Minister pledged not to ‘pull the rug out’ from under people who needed support.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget on Wednesday, the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation has set out five tests which need to be passed for the Government to make good on that pledge and loosen the grip of poverty.

JRF’s team of analysts, economist and policy experts will be available for immediate responses on Wednesday as well as analysis during the day and an overnight briefing assessing the overall impacts on poverty.

Five tests:

  1. Has the Chancellor extended the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit for at least another year?

Taking this lifeline away will result in an overnight cut in income of £1,040 per year for 6 million families.  It will pull an estimated 500, 000 people into poverty, including 200,000 children. The 6-month extension reported as the Chancellor’s preference is a short-term fix that would simply delay this pain until the worst possible moment. It would cut out of work support to its lowest level since 1990, just as unemployment peaks in the autumn and jobs remain scarce.  We also need to see the Chancellor extend this same lifeline to people on ‘legacy’ benefits who have so far unjustly been left behind.

  1. Has the Chancellor announced measures to protect jobs and help the unemployed back into work?

We want to see the CJRS extended to cover businesses who can demonstrate negative business impact as a result of ongoing Covid restrictions. As restrictions are lifted, we want to see a cautious phasing out of furlough which encourages more workers being kept on part time, rather than fewer full time.  We also want to see details of a comprehensive plan to tackle unemployment, supporting people to retrain and get back into work.

  1. Has the Chancellor announced measures for England to support those in rent arrears and at risk of eviction?  

At least 700 000 renters are already in arrears putting them at risk of eviction.   Around 2.5m households say they are worried about paying their rent. Scotland and Wales have introduced schemes to help people in this situation. We want to see more money for discretionary housing payments in England to help people in arrears.

  1. Has the Chancellor set us on a course for recovery that leaves no one behind?

It is important the Chancellor listens to the many economic voices saying that he should bake in recovery before addressing the public finances. Now is not the time for tax rises that would slow the recovery. We want to see evidence of new spending to act as a stimulus to help a faster economic recovery and avoid people being pushed into poverty by long term unemployment.

  1. What does the Chancellor’s budget mean for poverty in the UK?

Looking across the measures announced, we will make an assessment of whether this is a budget which has ‘wrapped its arms’ around those families in poverty who have been hardest hit by the pandemic and stopped other from being pulled into poverty.

Key background on the £20 uplift on Universal Credit

  • Unemployment now stands at 5.1 % and is not forecast to peak until later this year, just as the 6-month extension would end – cutting unemployment support at the very moment it is most needed.
  • In the third quarter of 2021 the unemployment rate is still expected to be well above its current high rate, with the OBR forecasting 7.4% and the Bank of England 7.8%. The OBR predicts that the unemployment rate will stay above 7% (2.4 million people) until the Spring of 2022.
  • Extending the uplift for 6 months will not prevent a predicted 500,000 people being pulled into poverty, including 200,000 children – only delay it until unemployment is forecast to be even higher.
  • A 6-month extension fails to reflect economic reality. It also fails the 6.2 million families who are relying on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit to stay afloat during this crisis and are facing a cut of £1,040 to their annual income.

A member of JRF’s Budget Advisory Group who has experience of poverty told us:

“A lot of families are really struggling and getting into debt. Six months is not good enough, it should be a year, until things get back to whatever ‘normal’ is going to be. I am really quite concerned. I just don’t think the Government knows what it’s like for working-class families at the moment.”

Another member of JRF’s Budget Advisory Group with experience of poverty said:

“One of the things I’d like from the Budget is for them to understand that the £20 is not about giving people anything, it’s that they were living on too little to begin with. Who can survive on that little money? Taking away nearly £1,000 a year from people who don’t have enough to live on is going to be catastrophic.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Sharon Walpole added a new event yesterday

CareermapLive: An Introduction to WorldSkills UK...

During this live webinar, you'll have the opportunity to learn about our skills competition development programme which provides colleges,...

  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 03:30 PM
  • Online Event, UK

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page