Intelligence Bulletin - 01 September, 2020
Surfers Against Sewage say they have seen an “explosion” of discarded masks and plastic on beaches and in rivers. The Cornwall bases Surfers Against Sewage have highlighted the governments roll back on the 5p plastic back charge to support food deliveries and the postponement of the ban on straws, stirrers and cotton-bud sticks that was weeks away from being introduced.
Low income, employed people may be able to claim up to £182 if they have to self-isolate in certain parts of England. People who claim Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, and can only work from work premises, will be able to get money equating to £13 a day.
The Arts and Leisure industry still has the largest proportion of workforce still furloughed, with 51% still furloughed. In second, the hospitality industry with 27% of their workforce still furloughed. 23% of arts and entertainment businesses are reporting the risk of insolvency as severe to moderation. Across all businesses, 11% are reporting the same.
The number of working and workless households has remained stable throughout lockdown, according to the ONS. It estimated that between April and the end of June, 59.6% of all households had at least one member working, while 13.1% of all households have no members working.
Croydon Council have said a “balanced budget” cannot be assured, with bankruptcy a possibility. The local authority faces a £65.4m overspend in the 20/21 financial year and only has £10m of reserve funds. To address the situation an independently chaired finance review has been set up and recruitment has been frozen.
Worldwide, people working from home are doing on average almost an extra hour a day longer than they were prior to the pandemic according to research from National Bureau of Economic Research. The study from NBER analysed data from 21,000 companies across the US, Europe and the Middle East.
A survey of 285 low-income families show 80% are now in a worse financial position than before the crisis. Reasons for the change were a fall in income, job losses and an increase in living costs. Half of the respondents said the were “much worse off” and more than three-quarters said the pandemic had affected their ability to pay for food and utilities.
Research by the NFER has shown that the educational gap between rich and poor pupils has widened by 46%, due to the lockdown. Average estimates in a poll of almost 3,000 school leaders in England suggest pupils are three months behind in their curriculum, with the situation judged to be worse in schools in more deprived areas. The study from the National Foundation for Educational Research claimed over half of teachers in the study estimate that the learning gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has widened. Reasons relate to remote learning and levels of pupil and parent engagement.
Homelessness charities are calling for the Government to extend their support for prison leavers. Ministry of Justice figures show that during the first month of lockdown, over 1,000 people were released from prison. The scheme, that provided a £6.4m pilot has helped offenders stay off the streets; however charities say that unless released offenders are supported, reoffending rates will rise with no protection from COVID.
Health and Social Care
According to analysis using global data, obesity increased the risk of dying from COVID by 48%, with fears that the vaccine will also be less effective. Additionally, the study showed that obese people were 74% more likely to be admitted to intensive care.
ONS findings from the Telephone operated Crime Survey for England and Wales has found that there is an estimated 32% reduction in total crime (this excludes fraud and computer misuse). The study analyses data during April and May 2020, and is compared to a two-month average before the lockdown initiated. Whilst nationally, data down a reduced, local data shows that crime levels have stayed the same. Additionally, parents of children aged 10-15 years old reporting negative online experiences is around 1 in 10.