Published: 22nd Oct 2020

Local authorities in the capital are reporting an ‘unprecedented spike in demand’ for welfare support services. A new analysis by the London Councils reveals that applications to local welfare assistance schemes rose by 219% from March to June 2020 compared to the same period last year. The cross-party organisation is also concerned that the combination of a second wave of coronavirus and continuing job losses mean the situation will worsen in the coming months. Local welfare assistance schemes were created in April 2013, when funding for community care grants and crisis loans were transferred to local authorities. The government abolished its £178m annual funding for local welfare assistance from 2015/16. Since then, councils have been forced to finance these schemes from their own general funds. The analysis also shows that in July, there were over twice as many Londoners claiming jobseekers’ allowance (52,000) than there were in March (23,100). London … (To read the full article, subscribe below)