Enfieldians ‘most financially insecure’

Enfield Job Centre
Enfield Job Centre in Windmill Hill

Borough unemployment nearly three times higher than before pandemic, reports James Cracknell

Enfield residents are the least “financially viable” in the whole of the UK, according to a loan company’s research.

Lender Moneybarn ranked 369 local authority areas by a series of criteria, such as average incomes, house prices and unemployment, with Enfield coming bottom of the pile. Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, took top spot.

Six of the ten least financially viable locations were found to be in London. In Enfield, nearly 40% of residents earn below the national living wage (£10.75 in London), while they also scored poorly for gross disposable income, annual pay, and employment. London boroughs Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Redbridge also featured in the bottom five. Inverclyde in Scotland was the only location outside England to feature in the bottom ten.

Newly-released job data from the Office for National Statistics show nearly a three-fold rise in local unemployment. More than 19,000 people (9%) of working age in Enfield are now claiming unemployment benefits, up from 7,000 people (3.3%) one year ago.

UK households are expected to face an additional £6billion in debt as a result of the Covid-19 health crisis and economic recession, as millions of people fall behind on payments. Tim Schwarz, head of marketing at Moneybarn, said: “The government has its work cut out to get the nation back on its feet and help people live more comfortably, especially post-Covid19.”

Shortly after announcing a second nationwide lockdown for England, the government last month announced an extension to its job retention scheme, commonly known as furlough, until spring next year. It has also provided additional support for local authorities, with Enfield Council handed another £9.6million, bringing the total government support for the local authority during the pandemic to £40.6m. The council estimates its additional spending and lost income amounting from the public health crisis will total £64.6m.