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Tackling social impacts of recession is vital, says new report

Tackling social impacts of recession is vital, says new report

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 15 December 2009

The Government has swiftly tackled the social impacts of the economic downturn by building on lessons from past recessions, according to a new report from the Social Exclusion Task Force.

"Learning from the Past: Tackling worklessness and the social impacts of the recession" argues that beating the social impacts of recession is crucial in preventing the downward spiral into long-term worklessness that the country has seen in the past.

The Social Exclusion Task Force report outlines how previous recessions have resulted in not just rising unemployment, but also increases in crime, mental health problems and family and relationship breakdown. It highlights the social impacts of previous recessions and how this time round despite steeper falls in GDP, labour market effects have been less severe than in the past. It also sets out what a 'Total Place' approach to worklessness and the social impacts of the recession would look like.

The Government has taken direct action to limit the recession through programmes such as Real Help Now. It took measures to protect people's savings and prevent the collapse of the banking sector, offered mortgage support and protection, and gave a guarantee to help all young people find work.

In response to the challenges of the recession, the Government has now introduced an additional package of measures to tackle the 'social wave' of recession including:

- A new White Paper, Building Britain's Recovery: Achieving Full Employment, setting out a bold vision for the future
- An additional £40 million for the 61 Working Neighbourhoods Fund hotspot areas

Angela Smith, Minister for Social Exclusion said

"Tackling the social impacts of recession demonstrates how the global financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed have had far reaching impacts. The Government has responded robustly to the needs of the many and recognises that this is no time for complacency.

"All sections of society have been battling the effects of the current recession and no area has been immune. In the face of global recession the Government has acted with determination to support businesses, protect jobs and stimulate recovery.

"It is paramount that we act to mitigate the wider social impact of recessions, which has previously had a devastating impact on families and communities."

"Learning from the Past: Tackling worklessness and the social impacts of the recession" was published alongside an evidence pack setting out the data related to the past and current economic context.

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