One in four ‘feel like they are living on the breadline’

Over a quarter (26%) of people feel like they are living on the breadline, a survey has found.

Nearly a fifth (18%) said they have borrowed to get by, and 30% said money worries are impacting their mental health.

The survey of more than 2,000 people in November was carried out for Nesta, a charity which runs Nesta Challenges, which designs and runs competitions that reward innovation.

It also found that nearly three in 10 (29%) people said they are being forced to switch to an alternative careers sector due to declining job opportunities in their current one.

Nearly a third (31%) said Christmas is putting a further strain on their finances with one in five (19%) saying they cannot even pay their bills, let alone pay for Christmas.

Nesta launched a “rapid recovery” challenge in September to improve access to jobs and financial support for those impacted by Covid-19.

As a result of the challenge, 14 organisations have secured £125,000 each in funding to further develop innovative solutions to help people improve their job prospects.

Ideas include a tool to match graduates to internships, tailored support to reach more of those in marginalised groups including disabled people and those who are homeless, and online careers portals that use new methods to identify skills and match people to jobs.

Budgeting tools and ways to help people find affordable credit are also among the solutions. Nesta aims to help grow and scale these ideas to reach one million people by 2023.

The challenge is funded by Nesta with support from the Government-backed Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), JPMorgan Chase and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Tris Dyson, managing director of Nesta Challenges, said: “There are a range of ideas out there that could make a real difference to those whose jobs and money have been impacted by the current crisis but organisations need to move at pace to get these tools into people’s hands in their moment of need.”

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