A UK thinktank has urged the government to do more to protect black, Asian and ethnic minority communities as their finances have suffered more than those of white Britons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While responding to a poll from YouGov 45 per cent of people from BAME communities said their personal finances had suffered as a result of the pandemic, the figure among white respondents was 34 per cent.
According to the survey, BAME people were also more likely to be worried about their job security (54 per cent against 47 per cent) and prospects for career progression (56 per cent against 45 per cent).
“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,” Alba Kapoor, a policy Officer for the Runnymede Trust, told The Guardian.
“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.”
He urged the UK government to take immediate action to strengthen the social security safety net and increase statutory sickness pay, as well as to address the underlying economic injustices in the society.
The poll of 2,665 people (including 519 BAME) has revealed that people from ethnic minorities are being hit disproportionately hard economically by the pandemic.
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 per cent to 34 per cent), affording rent and mortgage payments (29 per cent to 17 per cent), finding the money for council tax (29 per cent against 17 per cent) and bills (28 per cent against 19 per cent).
Besides, 28 per cent of BAME people feared not being able to afford food and clothes, against 21 per cent of white people.
According to Matt Palframan, director of financial services research at YouGov, though the pandemic has created uncertainty for so many, the latest data suggests that there are some groups who are feeling the impact more than others.
A recent research by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex 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.