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A leading race equality thinktank has called on the government to do more to protect black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, after a poll added to the growing well of data suggesting their finances have suffered more than those of white Britons due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll from YouGov found that BAME people are about a third more likely than the white British population to say that their finances have suffered as a result of Covid.
BAME respondents to the survey were more likely than white people to say they had been negatively affected with respect to every financial metric they were asked about. While 45% of people from BAME communities said their personal finances had suffered as a result of the pandemic, the figure among white respondents was 34%.
BAME people were also more likely to be worried about their job security (54% against 47%) and prospects for career progression (56% against 45%).
Alba Kapoor, policy Officer for the Runnymede Trust, said: “This data is yet more evidence that black, Asian and ethnic minority communities are being left defenceless whilst bearing the brunt of Covid-19.
“We already know that black, Asian and ethnic minority people are more likely to work in low-paid, precarious jobs and to live in poverty. It is extremely alarming to see how the pandemic is worsening these pre-existing inequalities.
“The government can’t turn a blind eye on this any longer. We urgently need more to protect black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, who face profound financial uncertainty during this time.”
The poll of 2,665 people (including 519 BAME) adds to a substantial body of evidence that people from ethnic minorities are being hit disproportionately hard economically by the pandemic. Several studies have shown different ethnicities to be more at risk of contracting and dying from coronavirus than the white British population. An Office for National Statistics analysis published last month linked the greater risk of death to socioeconomic factors, including occupations.
Kapoor added: “The Runnymede Trust is clear that immediate action must be taken to strengthen the social security safety net and increase statutory sickness pay, as well as to address the underlying economic injustices in our society.”
Analysis by the Guardian has previously found that BAME workers are overrepresented in the sectors hit worst by the economic crisis caused by Covid. Research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, published in June, showed that ethnic minority workers who had seen a drop in their hours during the pandemic were more likely than their white counterparts to have lost their jobs as opposed to being furloughed.
The YouGov poll showed people from BAME backgrounds were more likely to be concerned about being able to cope with unexpected expenses such as the boiler breaking down (43% to 34%), affording rent and mortgage payments (29% to 17%), finding the money for council tax (29% against 17%) and bills (28% against 19%).
Additionally, 28% of people from BAME communities feared not being able to afford food and clothes, compared with 21% of white people.
Matt Palframan, director of financial services research at YouGov said: “While the pandemic has created uncertainty for so many, our data suggests that there are some groups who are feeling the impact more than others.”
A Treasury spokesperson said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure our coronavirus support reaches those who need it the most, across all backgrounds.
“We have extended our financial support across the UK to help millions of people continue to provide for their families, and to provide certainty and stability to businesses through the winter.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Protect BAME people hit financially by Covid, says UK thinktank | World news