Public concerns highlight need for new pandemic approach
Posted on 13 Mar 2021
- Poll: only a third think Government treated people fairly
- Risk of homelessness and support for disabled people top concerns
- Pressure on MPs to repeal dangerous Coronavirus Act
Most Brits are concerned about a lack of support for people at risk of hardship due to the pandemic, research by Liberty finds.
Research conducted by nfpSynergy on behalf of Liberty found 83 per cent of people are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on people made vulnerable. The polling also found that only a third (34 per cent) of people think the Government has treated everyone equally and fairly during the pandemic.
- 80 per cent are concerned about cuts to funding for care at home.
- 78 per cent are concerned about an increase in people facing poverty and using foodbanks.
- 78 per cent are concerned about more people being at risk of homelessness as a result of the pandemic, and 77 percent concerned about the impact on people already homeless.
- 68 per cent are concerned about the minimum 5-week wait for Universal Credit.
The findings demonstrate widespread concern about the impact of the Government’s approach, which has at every turn prioritised punishment and coercion rather than support.
In response to this, Liberty has launched new campaign for a pandemic response that is based on support rather than punishment. Among a broad range of provisions, Liberty’s legislation – the Protect Everyone Bill – ensures:
- Funding for care at home is not reduced, and mandatory care standards are reinstated.
- Support for people on low incomes, funding for food parcels and free school meals.
- Safe accommodation for everyone who needs it, and a ban on evictions throughout the pandemic.
- An uplift in Universal Credit and reduction in the waiting time.
Parliament is due to vote on the Government’s pandemic strategy in the form of its flagship legislation – the Coronavirus Act – in the coming weeks.
The Protect Everyone Bill, drafted in consultation with dozens of frontline charities and legal experts, is intended to replace the Coronavirus Act, correct the course of the Government’s roadmap, and ensure that all our rights are protected.
Liberty Director Gracie Bradley said: “The pandemic has shown how much we rely on each other – yet politicians in charge responded to it with a strategy that created distrust and favoured punishing people instead of providing support.
“The people in power are running out of time, and running out of public patience. We need to pull together and create strategies that protect everyone. Those in power have failed to understand this, but the public have not.
“A year into this crisis, we’re tired of waiting for a better alternative, so we’ve come up with one ourselves. We demand a better way forward – one that provides support for everyone and upholds our rights and freedoms.”
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