Interactive Investor

‘Real-life horror show’ as furlough ends on Halloween

29th October 2020 09:37

Myron Jobson from interactive investor


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Key Covid-19 financial support measures are coming to end on 31 October.

This 31 October 2020 promises to be a particularly ghoulish Halloween for many Brits as key Covid-19 support measures come to an end.
The generous government furlough scheme will end in its current guise, so too will mortgage and loan holidays as well as interest free overdrafts. 
Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor says: “It’s always Halloween at the end of October but this year feels like a real life horror show for the personal finances of many people around the country, as official support schemes wind up or become less generous and as lockdown measures intensify in hotspots around the country.
“Ongoing further tier lockdown measures in the coming weeks will put the income of thousands of affected workers in peril and the new support offered in the winter plan might not prevent the nightmare facing some workers.
“Arming yourself with a plan and as much information as possible about what you can do should the worst happen, will help you feel less scared of the future. Getting support can feel like scrabbling around in the dark but there are amazing debt charities out there, as well as Citizens Advice, to help you find the light at the end of the tunnel.
“If you are an older worker who has lost their job and you are eligible to draw some of your pension as a lump sum, the danger could be feeling like you have to use it now to get by. Seeking other work first and using any accessible pensions as a last resort is wise – that money will still have to last your whole retirement after the pandemic has been and gone.

"If you are a younger worker who has lost income and is tempted to cut pension contributions to have more to get by with now, think about this carefully. Is there anything else, such as some form of spending, you can cut first? If you do decide to cut pension contributions, make sure to resume them as soon as you are able. Your future self will thank you for prioritising this at a time when it really didn’t seem as important as just getting by.”

Myron Jobson, Personal Finance Campaigner, interactive investor, says: “The end of the furlough scheme and support measures for those struggling with debt during the coronavirus crisis in their current forms will be the real-life nightmare for many Brits this Halloween.
“With hopes of an end of the Covid-19 economic disruption by Christmas dashed, it is important that people continue to pay extra attention to their financial wellbeing and consider the actions they can take now to maintain financial buoyancy to avoid money worries later on. This might mean topping up on your emergency cash fund if you have the means to do so, and/or cutting down on non-essential expenditure. A good way of identifying holes in your finances is by doing an emergency budget.
“It is difficult to shake the feeling that we won’t returning to the status quo anytime soon. Those struggling financially needn’t suffer in silence. Help is available. The Financial Conduct Authority has recently announced package of support for people struggling with repayments to ensure help is available after 31 October 2020.”

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